Elkins High School senior named 2024 West Virginia Journalism Student of the Year, headed to national convention

ELKINS, W.Va. — Elkins High School senior Kaelan Lovett has been selected as the 2024 West Virginia Journalism Student of the Year and will represent the state at the Journalism Education Association’s National High School Journalism Convention in Kansas City early next month.

Kaelan Lovett

His submission to win the honor included a narrative about his experience as a journalist and his leadership, team building, web and social media design, photo journalism, writing, editing, and reporting.

Lovett confessed on a recent edition of WAJR’s “Talk of the Town” to being a “news junkie” who likes to write and developed that passion at an early age.

“I’ve always liked to write,” Lovett said. “I remember writing books in third grade whenever I had the chance, and I remember teachers telling me I had to do something else other than that.”

Lovett moved to Elkins from Texas last year and has quickly become a member of the journalism program at the high school.

“For the broadcast, I act as the technical director, making sure everything works—the lighting system, sound, and everything,” Lovett said. “I also write and act as a news reporter for the newspaper, and I’m on the debate team as well.”

The Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association features media tours, the JEA Outreach Academy, a trade show, and broadcast competitions.

“They’ll offer workshops and an opportunity to become a more stable journalist,” Lovett said. “And it’s a chance for me to be recognized as the West Virginia Student of the Year.”

Lovett said there are differences in media coverage between West Virginia and Texas. In Texas, he said there is much less writing about the environment and more about politics. West Virginia media coverage offers more in-depth information at the county level and is more personal.

“The West Virginia news system as a whole is a lot more personal, with a lot more personal stories than in Texas, where they have more overarching news discussions,” Lovett said.

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