Communications department to host journalism event Friday

By Kathleen Hilliard

Northwestern State University’s journalism department is hosting its 45th Journalism Day, otherwise known as ‘J-Day’, on Friday, Nov. 2.

“J-Day was created to discuss current practices in the media industry to let students have the first exploration about what would be expected of them when they first start a job or go into to college,” said Dr. Paula Furr, head of the journalism department.

Besides bringing in hundreds of potential NSU students, the day will feature prominent alumni speakers, such as NSU President Chris Maggio and ULS President Dr. Jim Henderson. Competitions featured that day will involve hands-on events such as photography, newswriting and broadcast.

J-Day offers its attendees an opportunity to participate in these activities along with lectures from guest speakers to share their stories.

“J-Day shows what getting a degree in communications can mean [for them],” said Savannah Stevens, a junior Communications major at NSU.

J-Day is meant to push the philosophy that journalism is the foundation for a fair and just democracy.

“It’s fundamental to our democracy,” Furr said. “It’s why the founders made [freedom of the press] the first amendment.”

“J-Day sealed the deal for my choice to go to NSU, and helped me choose Mass Communications as my major,” said freshman Zoe Tapp.

The half-day event brings together NSU students and high schoolers to explore the different aspects and possibilities of journalism and communications, and what majoring in them entails.

“I love at the end when we do awards, [they] get so excited and we recognize their high school advisors,” Furr said. “For all of us, we all learn from someone and it’s nice to see the respect and enthusiasm students have for their teachers.”