Charger journalists compete at Kansas State Fair

AJ Grutsch | Podcast editor

In the scorching heat of the sun, the Wabaunsee journalism team headed out to conduct interviews and get pictures for a newspaper competition at the Kansas State Fair. 

This year’s team included seniors Lauren Schutter, Mayah Mumpower, Emma Alderman, Eli Mcdaniel and Justin Carlson. 

Teams competing in the Scholastic Press Corps receive one day to create a 4-page paper about that day’s events at the fair. They conduct interviews, take pictures, write stories and edit and design in their office at the fair. The newspaper is reviewed by judges who decide which newspaper is the best against more than a dozen other schools. This was Wabaunsee’s ninth year participating in the Scholastic Press Corps, winning first place in three out of the nine years. 

Organizing the event is Todd Vogts, the SPC Coordinator from Sterling College. Vogts believes that the competition is an opportunity for some real world experience. “For people who want to pursue journalism as a career, this shows the stress of having a strict deadline and little time to churn out a newspaper,” Vogts said. 

As the 6 p.m. deadline got closer and closer, some of the team had struggled to reach their assigned word count while others struggled to fit everything they had wanted to say into a smaller story. “Writing is always the part we dread but it’s the part that everyone sees,” Schutter said.

For some students, this was their first time taking pictures with a real camera. “Today was my first time ever even holding a professional camera,” Carlson said.

The Journalists also took this opportunity to enjoy their time at the State Fair. The streets were lined with food stands and attractions to play or shows to watch. “I should be put in jail for how I am murdering this turkey leg,” Carlson said. 

After the newspaper team had finished their work, they agreed that the competition was a valuable experience. “This event helped me learn how to work with a time limit, and taught me how to get to the point in my stories and interviews,” Mumpower said. McDaniel said “It’s hard to make a story with little information about the topic.” 

Adviser Brendan Praeger was pleased with the team’s performance. “They did a great job with time management and produced some solid stories. I was worried because none of them had done the competition before, since it was canceled last year, but they are a solid group.

You can view the student’s work here:

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