“Working for the newspaper makes you just short of immortal God.”- Mark Witherspoon
Well… maybe not quite, but working for a paper is pretty damn exciting. So far this conference has been super fun and pretty informational.
Today was FULL of journalism workshops. The first one I went to with Roya (holla atcha girl!). I learned all about how journalists are affected by interviewing tragedy and trauma victims and survivors.
According to Miguel, one of the presenters for the workshop, journalists need to be careful about the way they approach victims and survivors of horrible situations.
“You are with someone on the very worst day of your life,” she said. “Don’t ask how they feel, don’t say you know just how they feel. Just say I’m sorry.”
I’m not going to lie, this is information I wish I had earlier. I can think of a few situations from last year and this year where this approach would have been helpful.
Although you need to be careful about how you approach these survivors and victims, the speakers made it clear that even if it is not something that happened to you, you are viewing and thinking about these things and you can have a vicarious response. Some people don’t feel entitled to have those feelings and then feel guilty about having those feelings, but it’s okay and you need to give yourself permission to feel.
The next workshop I went to was on improving The Beacon’s web presence. TWITTER HERE WE COME.
My favorite workshop of the day was definitely the one on paper design (I know, strange right?). Apparently there are a ton of weird phrases that real journalists use. Does anyone know where the Blomo is? But FYI, Andy is right, I pica around a picture is “pleasing to the eye.”
My last workshop of the day had to do with handing difficult people when you are an editor. Mark Witherspoon, the guy I quoted up top, was definitely one of the more effervescent presenters.
“Why are we here? Because we don’t know sh*t about math or science,” Witherspoon said.
Haha. True. But he also said a lot of helpful stuff. It really made me think about exactly how a good editor acts.
“Create an environment in which everyone is serving everyone else. If you are successful at that, then you have a lot less bitching people,” he said. “You create a loving environment that people want to be in and enjoy being a part of.”