Archive for March, 2012

It’s been a whirlwind for four Beacon staffers at the annual National College Media Convention in New York City…and we’ve barely just begun! 

                      Beacon journalists Kate Peifer, Liz Tertadian, Laura Frazier and Jackie Jeffers at  Rockefeller Center (ie:30 Rock)

Nonstop from morning until early this evening, they attended journalism workshops with thousands of other college journalists from around the country. A sampling of topics: Libel, design, photojournalism, investigative reporting, management and leadership, mobile apps, public records.

A favorite presenter here is Michael Koretsky, who also happens to be the director of the convention. Below are some tidbits from his workshop about improving your page design in just a few minutes,doing the best you can with what you have. ‘Wish I could show you his before and after photos too!

  • Photos of people who look bored are boring photos.
  • Designers must read/understand stories.
  • Write headlines for students not bureaucrats.
  • No tombstone headlines
  • No  photos or headlines the same size on front page.
  • Always have a separate box for an event (time, place, date, etc.)
  • Dominant photo, headline.
  • Editors: You get hired to make bold decisions that are correct.
  • One pull quote per story per page
  • White space is your friend
  • Don’t misue clip art;Use clip art as section breaks.
…Much more to come. Stay tuned.

2012-2013 Beacon Editor in Chief Liz Tertadian at Michael Koretsky’s workshop

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It feel strange that I have been inside all day long. It is even stranger that when I walk outside, I am still surrounded by walls. After being in New York City for three days now, I already find myself missing Oregon’s trees. And here I thought I was a city girl. ha.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the city was insane. Jackie and I accomplished our goal to purchase green “I shamrock NYC” shirts, and I got a picture with the Naked Cowboy. We sat on red bleachers in the middle of Times Square to listen to bagpipes, watch the sea of green people walk by, and were happy to get off our feet for awhile and take in the city.

Saturday morning all four of us went to the first NYC12 session – Shark Meat – and that was an eye opener! I really liked it. Our speaker, Mike, talked about the psyche of a student, a journalist, and a student journalist. He demonstrated how his student staff ran meetings as just an editorial board – something I really liked and think The Beacon should adopt.

After walking our legs off we ate pizza and saw a show on Broadway! We saw Anything Goes, and it was so fantastic! Our seats were right up close and I could see all the actor’s facial expressions. The show was hilarious! We were all laughing the entire show.

Don’t worry, we did celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.


We woke up and rushed downstairs to the lobby to get our name into the tours lotto. But luckily it was a lottery drawing and we discovered we did not actually have to put our name in. Back to bed we went. Later, at 5pm, Jackie and I went to take the spots people drawn for didn’t claim. I am going to take 2 tours!!! Associated Press, and Hearst, which is a magazine corporation that publishes Cosmo and others. SO EXCITED!!!

I went to a bunch of neat sessions today. Some better than others. My two favorites were “Chicken Salad” and “How to manage your sports reporters”. Both had amazing speakers, were inspiring and helpful.


This was a design session by Mike, and it was awesome. He showed newspapers, and re-designed them to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts of design and how to make pages look awesome, with just what you have. Lessons learned:

– Photos are not your children – you don’t have to love them equally.

– Make bold decisions, but more importantly, make decisions

– Prioritize stories for your readers, and let the page layout illustrate this. Pimp out the good articles and shrink the bad ones.


This was so great. The speaker was ESPN The Magazine editor Gary Belsky. He talked about how he got to be the editor of the magazine, and how to break out of the traditional sports reporting mold by thinking about sports differently. It was really neat! I got a lot of great ideas for The Beacon next year. Gary encouraged me to have sports writers do special projects and “inside out” journalism”, which is basically looking at a sport from the athlete’s perspective. Ideas included blowing up one play in a game, and telling the story of that one drive/break away/ shot that led to the winning goal/basket/touchdown. Or a day in the life of an athlete’s practice. How they do what they do. Readers love that sort of thing, and it breaks the traditional mold of game coverage.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow!


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First day and despite a sudden onset of exhaustion, I couldn’t be more jazzed! Even waking up at 7 a.m. after a long and celebratory St. Patrick’s day, it was easy knowing I would be surrounded by journalism professionals and knowledge-hungry students, like myself. The first session which the Living Editor, Laura Frazier, and I attended, was much needed to keep The Beacon current and invigorating. The session, 200 Plus Stories, was exactly like it’s given title. Story ideas left and right, up and down, in and out, over and under…get the picture? They are EVERYWHERE! Often times newspapers rely on having a dependable story each issue and get into a boring rut. It’s important to avoid any reason for our readers to have an excuse from picking up our hard work. Every papers hope is to provide material that is useful, interesting and newsy..but let’s also add stories that are odd, risky and downright strange (buried campus apes or student’s stuffed animals anyone?). So, for those of you struggling or ripping teeth to find that golden ticket of a story, listen, ask questions or refer to the 200 Plus Story list I will post on the 5 and a half hour plane ride back home:(

Kate Peifer


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