The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Newspaper and Yearbook students visit UNC for Journalism Day

Photos by Patricia Hornick
The Yearbook and Newspaper students gathering outside of Carroll Hall before Journalism Day starts. Built in 1955, Carroll houses UNC’s School of Journalism and Media.

High School Journalism Day is an annual event offered for Newspaper and Yearbook students from schools all over North Carolina. Schools take their students on a field trip to the UNC campus and learn about writing and journalism from professionals from The Daily Tar Heel, The Herald Sun, and The News & Observer.

The Daily Tar Heel is UNC’s official newspaper and an “unofficial” newspaper for the Chapel Hill area in general. The city doesn’t have a formal newspaper outside of The Daily Tar Heel. The News & Observer is one of the main news sources for Raleigh.

High School Journalism Day took place Oct. 19 for the 2023 school year. Students walked around the campus and took classes in the UNC School of Journalism. UNC has one of the best-ranked journalism schools in the country and giving high school students the opportunity to attend J-Day and learn from professionals was quite lucky. It’s also an excuse to not go to class, which most students, in general, wouldn’t pass up, not just ones really into journalism.

The event is hosted by the NCSMA (North Carolina Scholastic Media Association), a branch of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media (the official name of UNC’s School of Journalism). 

“I wanted to learn more about writing, [and] I thought it would be a good opportunity,” said Kali Casper, junior and member of the Athens Torch school yearbook. 

At the start of the school day, most of the Newspaper and Yearbook students got on an activity bus and drove about 40 minutes to UNC. However, it was slowed down a bit due to traffic caused by the state fair. When they arrived they walked to Carroll Hall, and after a brief wait in the chilly early morning weather, they walked in.

There was then an opening session where members of the Daily Tar Heel and News & Observer shared stories about their experiences as journalists, some dos and don’ts, and a welcome to all the high school students.

After the opening session, students dispersed from the main area to various classrooms around Carroll Hall to find the classrooms in which they registered for, prior to the field trip. The classes consisted of a wide ra

Athens Students waiting for the opening session to start in Carroll Hall. The opening session was hosted by Kimberly Tutuska from The News & Observer, and Audrey Kashatus and Shelby Swanson from The Daily Tar Heel. (Photos by Patricia Hornick)

nge from editing articles to photojournalism, allowing for both newspaper and yearbook students to learn and enjoy classes of their interest.

“My favorite class was the Sports Writing one,” said Casper. “We do a lot of sports spreads [in the yearbook] and I’m really into football.”  

Trish Hornick, the advisor for the newspaper class, got to learn from other advisors in the Advisor’s Roundtable session.

“It was nice to hear what other advisors had to say, [and] I got some ideas from other advisors about how to raise more money and promote our articles,” said Hornick.

After three 45 minute classes, students walked across Polk Place to Lenoir Hall for lunch. It was very crowded because of the five to six classes worth of high school students that were eating there at the same time. 

The day ended with a bit of free time to explore or visit the nearby student store. There was a closing session but Athens didn’t attend due to time restraints.

And so, the students got back on the activity bus, drove back to Athens, and went home with a bit more knowledge about journalism, and maybe a UNC mug or sweatshirt.

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    JennieNov 21, 2023 at 10:32 pm

    Cool opportunity!!