Local Student Represents City at National Media Conference
Bart Sullivan, 10-11-2018

Cuyahoga Falls High School student Remi Starcher, who represented the Falls at the 2018 Washington Journalism and Media Conference.
Stephen Mule
During the week of July 8th, Cuyahoga Falls High School student Remi Starcher represented her city as a National Youth Correspondent at the 2018 Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WMJC) held on the campus of George Mason University.

Each summer, the WMJC partners with the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to select high school leaders from around the country based on standardized test scores and engage in hands-on learning with fellow students, distinguished George Mason University faculty, Washington insiders, and international media outlets. This includes hearing from speakers in the fields of journalism, news, and social media, such as C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb and New York Times editor Mikayla Bouchard. In maintaining both groups’ missions, the conference also helps “educate the public about the value of a free press in a free society and tells the stories of the world’s important events in unique and engaging ways,” per the Newseum’s mission statement.

“What made me want to attend was the opportunity to learn more about a career that had always interested me,” Starcher explained. Although she does not know which teacher nominated her to represent her city at the conference, she is happy to have been given the chance to attend and learn more about the field of journalism, which she described as “so much more than telling stories. It's giving a voice to the voiceless.”

The most valuable parts of the conference, Starcher suggests, were the ability to network and the connections she made with people from around the world, as well as the knowledge she gained from listening to the speakers. “My favorite presenter was Susan Goldberg, senior editor for National Geographic,” she said. “She spoke to us about how to use storytelling principles to make a story important, unique, and interesting.”

After attending this year’s WMJC, Starcher hopes to continue in the field of journalism after high school, but understands some of the difficulties people have as they start out in the field. “You really learn that it's hard to be a journalist on your own; you need other people to make this job work,” she explained. Nonetheless, she said she hopes “that future attendees would enjoy getting to meet new people as much as I did.”

The 2019 Washington Journalism and Media Conference will be held July 7-19, but educators can already start nominating students to represent Cuyahoga Falls next summer at https://wjmc.gmu.edu.

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