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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Falcons Flock to the University of Oregon for Fall Media Day

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  • Fully seated on the bus, the journalism and yearbook students smile for a picture, ready to take off.

  • La Salle students ascend the stairs, headed towards their first meeting of the day, held in the EMU’s ballroom.

  • Keynote speaker Heba Kanso gives her speech behind the podium. During her time onstage, Kanso spoke about her own experiences with journalism and working abroad and also showed one the media pieces she worked on.

  • Eyes locked ahead, La Salle students listen attentively to the speaker during their session.

  • La Salle English and Journalism teacher Mr. Miles Kane leads a session meant to help students take inspiration from student news sites around the country, using climate change reporting as an example.

  • 33 Lasallians who attended the 2023 Fall Media Day pose together outside the event’s venue. Fall Media Day was hosted at the University of Oregon’s Erb Memorial Union, known as the EMU.

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On Tuesday, Dec. 5, the students of La Salle’s Journalism and Yearbook classes began to arrive at school. At 6:30 a.m., the students, still rubbing sleep from their eyes, boarded a Blue Star bus bound for the annual Fall Media Day at the University of Oregon.

Fall Media Day is an event UO hosts on its campus in Eugene for high school journalism programs across Oregon, organized by the Oregon Journalism Education Association. At the event, students attended a presentation by this year’s keynote speaker before going to four of 47 educational sessions, covering topics ranging from yearbook design to high school sportscasting.

Born and raised in Portland, the keynote speaker, Heba Kanso, is a 2009 graduate of the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) and winner of the 2020 Eric Allen Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Kanso currently works for WE Communications as the Director of Broadcast Video & Production. Formerly, she worked as a digital correspondent for CBS News and then became the first Middle East correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Beirut, Lebanon. After that, she worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a communications officer.

After Kanso gave her speech, Fall Media Day’s approximately 880 registered attendees were dismissed to their first session. These sessions were led by journalists, teachers, and professors from all over Oregon, dealing with issues relevant to journalism and yearbook students, offering tips, tricks, and inspiration, and providing an opportunity for students to connect with their peers.

La Salle’s own Mr. Miles Kane, an English and Journalism teacher, led one of these first sessions, called “How Scholastic Journalists Are Covering Climate Change.” His talk was about the importance of local journalism; highlighting examples from across the country of how student media programs are covering issues connected to climate change.

After sessions one and two concluded, students were released for lunch. During this lunch break, La Salle students were given the opportunity to tour The Daily Emerald’s newsroom. The Daily Emerald is the University of Oregon’s student-run publication, printing every Monday and publishing online daily. The tour was led by former Editor in Chief of The Falconer and La Salle alum Megan Snyder, who is now a member of The Daily Emerald’s reporting team for the news desk at UO.

Following lunch, students selected their third and fourth sessions of the day. According to La Salle senior and yearbook team member Cora Saunders, the third session was her favorite. Saunders attended the session, “The Power of Photography,” led by Will Yurman, a professor in SOJC.

Saunders described this session as very powerful and informative, saying that she learned a lot, noting that Yurman talked about how a picture can tell a story and how important that is for a yearbook. Though much of what she learned was things she already had an understanding of, there was a lot she gained further insight on and can use for her work on the yearbook. “The spreads I’m doing are just going to get better and better because of this,” Saunders said.

She remarked that UO’s Fall Media Day is something that she thinks is beneficial for the journalism and yearbook students at La Salle, saying that if she was a member of the yearbook team during last year’s Fall Media Day conference, she would have definitely attended.

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