Journalist Students Visit San Antonio for TAJE Convention

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In order to compete in state-wide competitions and gain knowledge from award-winning journalists, seven Cy Falls Press members attended the annual TAJE journalism convention in San Antonio where two press members won fourth place in a team event. This convention occurred from Oct. 8 to Oct. 11. 

Students at Bu-cee's
A. Parrish

“We got the paper and ran outside,” Annika Tersteegen (10) said. “It was really nice outside. We took lots of photos. Like we took photos from stuff [off] the list. For example, it said that we had to take photos of a person taking photos of a wedding. And we did. We were really nervous that we wouldn’t turn our photos in on time. But in the end we had some time to [do so].” 

On the final day of the convention, Tersteegen and her partner, Allison Balboa (10), were given the news  that they had won fourth place in the Photography Scavenger Hunt.

“I was like ‘wait did they just call me?’” Balboa said. “Usually I don’t win things like that, so it was really unexpected. But I still feel really accomplished that I achieved something as big as that.”

Penelope De Pau (11), Leah Izaguirre (12) and Phillip Elsner (10) also participated in the Photography Scavenger Hunt, Hailey Jackson (12) participated in On Site Digital Photo and Kristy Mendoza (12) participated in the Feature Writing competition. While the group learned a lot from their competitions, the real learning began the following day.

“During the second day of TAJE, we mostly did classes,” Elsner said. “There was this class on photography, it was just very interesting to get another point of view on how I should be taking photos and how different things impact the photo that we’re taking. And how it’s better to get certain shots. Also, there was this interviewing class that I went to and I found it interesting that the instructor wasn’t just trying to find a means to an end when interviewing people. He tried to build a relationship with his interviewees so they could feel more comfortable with him, resulting in him getting better answers and a better view on what was going on.”

Students eating
A. Parrish

Outside of the convention, the group explored what San Antonio had to offer. They traveled from their hotel to the crowded River Walk, to the mom-and-pop shops that lurk in every corner of the city, to the tourist attractions that have gift shops inside each and everyone of them. However, despite witnessing the city’s busy landscape and having a taste of its best restaurants, Tersteegen felt that walking around the city while talking about random topics with her group was the best part of the trip.

“When Leah accidentally said a word in British, we just started speaking in British and could not stop,” Tersteegen said. “And other people thought we were really from Britain.

Like Testeegren, Elsner felt the trip wasn’t just about competing and learning from award-winning journalists.

“My favorite part of TAJE is, I guess, getting away from actual school and doing stuff I enjoy more along with people who also enjoy doing those things,” Elsner said. “It was a lot of fun being out there with everyone else.”