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HSJ Headline News

Student Media Summit encourages students to 'Be Seen. Be Heard'

Meredith Summers
Deseret News

August 2, 2011

AMERICAN FORK — About 100 Utah high school students and community members gathered at American Heritage School for the Deseret News' first "Be Seen. Be Heard." Student Media Summit where students learned from key speakers in the field of journalism and experienced the production of news.

The media summit focused on teaching participants how to responsibly use Internet as a means of getting their voices heard through school and community news.

Amy Donaldson, high school sports reporter and Deseret News columnist; Reed Farnsworth, public relations director for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, Utah; and Stephen Jones, comedian, host and actor, addressed the group during several break-out sessions.

“Who wants to be more heard?” asked Donaldson. “The Internet is a great way to be heard.”

Keynote speakers discussed the different ways Internet can be used as a way for students to have an influence in their communities beyond their circle of friends.

The speakers used personal experiences and humor to convey their messages: “They taught us how to use the Internet wisely (and) how to keep a good reputation,” said Kearns High School senior Sarah Smith.

Chris Higbee, director of DeseretNews.com, spoke of the importance of this media summit for students.

“It helps them see that there are other students that are interested in writing," Higbee said. "It helps to develop a core group of kids that can draw on each other.”

Though traditional news media platforms print seem to be waning, the summit encouraged students to be seen and heard, especially by using deseretconnect.com.

In a day of extensive technology, the Internet is such an important news outlet and students need to be aware of the opportunities that accompany it. The media summit helped students become aware of the opportunities available to them and helped them discover a way to publish through trusted media brands.

Meredith Summers is a senior at Layton High School and a co-editor of the student paper, The Centurion.

Copyright 2011, Deseret News. Reprinted with permission

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