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Publications staffs of Marjory Stoneman Douglas reflect on their experience at CSPA convention

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By Nathan Seidel

This year’s Columbia Scholastic Press Association spring convention featured a treat for its guests, in which representatives from the newspaper and yearbook of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school revisited their journeys to cover the school shooting that sent shock waves through their community and the nation as a whole. The students’ presentation captivated the audience and a pin could be heard dropping throughout the session. Kudos to the convention for bringing in such a poignant demonstration.

The CSPA also presented a gold crown, the highest honor it bestows, to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas newspaper for excellence in journalism. Check out their website http://eagleeye.news/.

Here are some of the best quotes from the event.

“My camera was on my side as soon as I left because I knew I had to document what was happening. There were so many media people and people are in your face. It was very raw, very emotional for me personally.”

“We know that our message means something, that something’s happening.”

“In every single situation, people that want to oppose you can, so you have to understand that and not let it disturb you from being the journalist you want to be and get the story you want to get.”

“We all went through something so traumatic, and people are trying to find conspiracy theories and ways to discount what we went through, and that’s just sad. We’re teenagers who experienced one of the worst things you could possibly experience, and they’re trying to say that we didn’t really experience that.”

“It’s important to make sure you take care of yourself when you need to. I got a massage and got my nails done and I felt really guilty about that; that I should be home in my feelings. But you need to take care of yourself.”

“Since we lost so many of our classmates, it’s hard; as a journalist, I’m picking out photos of my friend Nick who sat next to me in class, that’s not easy, but we’re so blessed to have our staff. You have a family right there at your school.”

“It’s a hard feeling because you really don’t want to feel okay. You want to be sad and sometimes all you want to do is just lay in bed and cry, watch the news and cry some more, but when you see all this support from these other schools, the whole nation and all these banners from all over the world it gives you a sense of happiness and everyone is by your side.”

“When someone asks ‘how are you feeling now’ I feel like there’s no correct answer to that question because if I was like ‘I’m okay, I just had an ice cream sundae,’ people are going to be like ‘why are you okay? You’re not supposed to be okay.’

“I can say ‘Well I’m upset, I’m sad, I cry every night,’ which is true, but I don’t want to mark myself as such a sad person because we’re all moving on from this, the important thing is that we’re moving on, and we’re evolving.”

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