HS Insider events and opportunities

Beyond this platform, HS Insider creates opportunities for young people to develop their writing, media literacy and multimedia skills, connect with L.A. Times staff and immerse themselves in the field of journalism. Here’s how you can get more from HS Insider:

Annual Story Series

While the vast majority of stories that HS Insider publishes are stories on topics that contributors decide themselves, HS Insider also understands that some topics benefit from a deep, multifaceted exploration by many students at once. Our annual content initiative does just that. Every year, HS Insider announces a central topic or theme and collects related stories from all over the country. Check out our past initiatives here: Message to My Next President (2016), Immigration & (2017), Change Starts with Us (2018). and read the stories students are pursuing documenting the state of student mental health supports in their communities in our 2019-2020 Story Series: Minds Matter. Submit your own here!


High School Insider IRL is a quarterly event that gives Southern California Insiders the opportunity to mingle with other young storytellers. Each IRL will be centered around a topic chosen by students. The focuses will range from immigration to gender equality. Reporters from the L.A. Times newsroom will make special appearances to meet and talk with students in a casual setting. Find more information here.

High School Journalism Day (J-Day)

Over 200 students from schools across Southern California attend our annual fall conference held on a college campus in the Los Angeles area. Students participate in reporting contests and workshops on topics including sports, education, data and Spanish-language reporting. Conferences have been held at California State University Northridge and the University of Southern California. HS Insider co-sponsors the conference, along with the host university, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Southern California Journalism Education Association.


High School Insider partners with organizations and companies to run writing contests with once-in-a-lifetime winning prizes. These contests vary from year to year. Past contests include:

Wango Tango Music News Challenge
Two students were chosen to cover Wango Tango at the StubHub Center from all angles including red carpet access and official media credentials, courtesy of the Times’ media partner KIIS FM. Students applied for the opportunity and Ryan Seacrest featured winners on his morning radio show.

Discover Asia Correspondent Contest
Two students each received an expenses-paid five-day, six-night trip to Asia courtesy of Korean Air to explore a topic of personal interest. The winners were also featured and celebrated at the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

Student Advisory Board

The High School Insider Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a group of 20-25 student leaders from Los Angeles and around the country with a demonstrated interest and passion for storytelling in general and HS Insider specifically. SAB members work to help grow and develop HS Insider during video calls twice per month and enjoy special access to reporting opportunities and events. Applications are released annually.

Paid summer internship 

L.A. Times High School Insider’s paid summer internship is an immersive professional learning opportunity where young journalists can experience the day-to-day life of a professional journalist. The program aims to teach students core journalism fundamentals and multimedia skills while exposing them to a professional work environment and mentorship at the Times.

This summer, HS Insider will host eight interns who will pursue stories about their communities, local arts, news, mental health, and more. In partnership with the Tony Ross Internship Fund and the Jack and Denny Smith Memorial Fund for Literacy, interns will write stories, produce videos and podcasts and publish on latimes.com/hsinsider. During the six week long virtual program, interns are immersed in intensive journalism training and are paired with editorial mentors who support their personal and professional development.