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Nurture the next generation

I'm still floating a bit on the energy from last week's National High School Journalism Convention in DC. Over the course of two days I spoke to more than 400 scholastic journalists -- reporters, editors, columnists, yearbook staffers, radio show producers -- and a few of their advisors. It was invigorating and reassuring to sit down with so many young people eager to use words and pictures to tell better stories, right wrongs and -- as hokey as it sounds -- make the world a better place. I was both heartened and impressed by their interest in and passion for news and analysis.

(That's me, bottom left)

Working with young people is one of the best things about my job. If you're not already involved with local schools, youth groups or other organizations catering to teenagers (especially those considering journalism), I invite you to re-consider. Working with these kids, even just for a few minutes during a break at a conference, gives them access to professionals and real-world perspectives. And it creates an opportunity for us to develop and nurture the next group of people we'll be hiring or relying on for our news.

Margot Lester speaking at the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, DC, with journalist AK Clemmons in the background. November 2019.
During my session on better interviewing with my friend and journalist Anna Katherine looking over my shoulder

Whether it's a structured thing like speaking at NHSJC or working with your local school paper, or a more casual thing like having coffee with an aspiring writer, getting involved with the next generation is good for all of us.

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