The Roundup -

Savage's Emily Reynolds Attends Journalism Conference in Washington, DC


August 9, 2017 | View PDF

Savage High School senior Emily Reynolds poses with the Knight Studio sign during the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. (Photo submitted)

Savage High School senior Emily Reynolds has laid the footwork for a career in journalism at the 2017 Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University.

Reynolds was nominated for the conference by her art teacher, Cassandra Moos. Teachers are encouraged by the program to nominate students in grades 9 through 11 who show strong academic performance and an interest in journalism and media. At first, Reynolds was not aware that she was nominated. "When I got the letter, I thought it was spam. But I called the number and they said it was real!" Reynolds explained. Reynolds explained that Ms. Moos had nominated her based on several factors-one being that she "got a glow" when talking about writing, and had written one particular essay that was "brilliant, in a unique style of writing", Reynolds said Ms. Moos told her.

At first, Reynolds was uneasy about pursuing the opportunity, because it was expensive and she felt "like a small fish in a big pond." Reynolds credits both the community and her parents for helping her raise funds for the program.

In July, Reynolds left small-town Montana to serve as a National Youth Correspondent at the conference held in Fairfax, Virginia, about 15 minutes from Washington, DC. Reynolds was the only correspondent from Montana this year, and according to one program leader, there hasn't been a Montana correspondent in several years.

For six days, Reynolds and more than 200 other correspondents from other areas heard presentations from nationally and internationally recognized media journalists, like Bryan Lamb from C-SPAN, and Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief of National Geographic Magazine, as well as journalists from sports news, movie critics, and radio hosts, among other journalism professionals.

Reynolds also took advantage of the opportunity to visit Washington, DC, and speak directly with Montana Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte. Of Senator Daines, Reynolds said "He was easy-going. He made it easy to not be nervous." The trip came at the perfect time to meet with Congressman Gianforte, as Emily penned and gave him a letter asking for his support in saving the Intake Dam. "They both listened to everything I said," and Gianforte later visited the Dam himself.

The six days of the conference were quick, but the lessons Reynolds learned will last. "A lot of people say journalism is a dying business, but it's not. I definitely saw a more political side of journalism. This was something I needed. I created a network of people that have the same interests. It was amazing," Reynolds said of the experience.

When asked if she will pursue a career in journalism, Reynolds' answer is a "most definitely", and she will be utilizing opportunities in the community as a spring board. Reynolds asked Savage School to be involved in the regular newsletter and the school website, and has made contact with both the Sidney Herald and the The Roundup newspapers in Sidney for available opportunities.

Reynolds speaks of her experience at the conference fondly, and inserts that "It put in perspective that small town kids can go big city, as long as you put in the hard work," a lesson that should help her achieve her goals as a journalist.


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