The Falconer Takes 8th Place in Best of Show at the National High School Journalism Convention

John Pham, Assistant Editor

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  • Upon landing in San Francisco, members wasted no time trying to see as much of the city on Wednesday evening before the National High School Journalism Convention’s official start, stopping by Pier 19 for lunch.

  • Walking along the many repurposed piers along San Francisco’s waterfront, Alcatraz Island can be seen in the background.

  • An impromptu game of air hockey at the Musée Mécanique along Fisherman’s Wharf results in a win for junior and assistant editor Lucy Loeb with a score of 5-3 against Journalism adviser Mr. Miles Kane.

  • Having ascended through the Russian Hill neighborhood, admiring the picturesque Victorian houses and real estate prices, the group pauses to look over the city with Coit Tower in the distance.

  • With eight curves on only about 600 feet of road, Lombard Street is thought to be one of the most serpentine streets in the world.

  • Mr. Kane can be seen helping with publishing the week’s Schoology announcement for The Falconer from Francisco Park.

  • On the final evening of the trip, the group posed for final photos at Baker Beach.

  • The iconic silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge can be seen in the sunset from Great Meadow Park at Fort Mason.

  • Though arriving after the museum’s closing time, the group wandered around the structures that date back to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

  • The walking tour towards Chinatown leads to an encounter with an icon of the city: a cable car.

  • Before entering Chinatown, the group poses before the Dragon Gate.

  • Founder of the Wind Newspaper, Portia Li, speaks to a group of student journalists in the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, which housed an exhibit on Bruce Lee.

  • The Transamerica Pyramid makes a distinct feature of San Francisco’s skyline from the streets of Chinatown.

  • The former Chinese Telephone Exchange was one of the sites visited on the tour.

  • The Falconer was featured on one of SNO site’s banners in the trade show.

  • The group visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

  • The group looks at Ragnar Kjartansson’s art installation titled “The Visitor,” an hour-long work projected on eight screens, each subject playing the same song together.

  • Peter Hartlaub delivered the opening keynote speech for the convention on the history of the Tenderloin District and its significance as the convention’s venue.

  • Members of The Falconer Staff received critiques of the website’s content and appearance as part of the convention’s activities.

  • The group visited the Painted Ladies, a row of six houses distinguished by their Victorian architecture and pastel paint.

  • This is one of the many dogs the group stopped along the way to greet.

  • Associated with the birth of the counterculture movement during the 1960s, the group visited the Haight-Ashbury District.

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On Wednesday, April 19, four members of The Falconer staff along with adviser Mr. Miles Kane made their way to San Francisco for the National High School Journalism Convention (NHSJC), the largest gathering of student journalists and journalism teachers in the nation.

Over the course of three days, staffers of The Falconer attended sessions that covered a wide range of topics aimed at helping student journalists gain insight from professionals across an array of fields, including photojournalism, investigative journalism, cultural reporting, opinion writing, web design, and more.

A constant theme throughout the convention was the importance of journalism, especially in school communities, serving to inform and uphold truth and responsibility to others.

The site of the convention, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel, was located in the Tenderloin District. Peter Hartlaub, culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the convention’s opening keynote speaker, told attendees to look beyond the narrative associated with the district. A long-serving refuge throughout the city’s history, the Tenderloin District has in recent years been more associated with the ongoing housing crises and drug epidemic in San Francisco, in both national and local news

On Thursday, a walking tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the oldest and largest of its kind in the U.S., took members through the history of the area, the significance of its distinct architecture, and history of anti-Chinese discrimination. The founder of the Chinese and English publication the Wind Newspaper, Portia Li, spoke on the importance of journalism in connecting communities such as San Francisco’s Chinese population, especially among its elderly, many of whom do not speak English and rely on the Wind as a means of information. 

With sessions being scheduled similarly to a typical school day, the group was free to explore the area in the evening. Traveling mostly by foot, members of the Falconer took on the notoriously hilly city. 

On Friday, the final evening of the trip, The Falconer made a final visit to Baker Beach before returning to Portland on Saturday evening.

After getting to the airport, The Falconer staff then received the news of their eighth place in the Best of Show award for their division, schools with fewer than 1,800 students.