Just finished our first long day at CMA’s college media convention! I’ve never met so many other college journalists who have had such similar experiences with their college newspapers. It’s so interesting to hear stories from other small private Catholic schools, as well as hear what it’s like to run and work for a newspaper at a big public school or even a community college. It’s even cooler to hear stories and advice from media professionals doing all different types of journalism. One speaker, Brian Storm, started his own visual storytelling business called MediaStorm that uses photos, video, music and skillful editing to tell individuals’ stories as a way to bring to light a larger social issue. Listening to his presentation helped me realize that the skills we learn at The Beacon will teach us more than how to be good student journalists, but will help give us the skills to explore a career in many different types of media outlets.
There were also several workshops on how to handle administrators and university staff that don’t want to talk to student reporters. In the one I went to, the speaker talked about making a civic map – a literal map you can draw up that lists who has jurisdiction over what at the school. The speaker talked about how important it is for reporters to know who to talk to for stories – just to have a knowledge of their school and what the role of all its administrators and staff are. This can help reporters get to the bottom of things, because they know all the places to look and people to talk to without relying on sources to point them in the right direction.
One speaker also talked about the importance of no prior review – not allowing university representatives to review the newspaper in any way before it’s published. And that includes email interviews in most instances, or showing a source the article before its published. It was good to hear that other schools have these struggles too, including the newspaper of the school where the speaker teaches. She also had a lot of ideas for training staff. She suggested having a training before spring semester as well because of the high turnover rate in student newspapers. She talked about training students by putting them in scenarios and having them learn how to react to the sorts of situations they might face working for their newspaper.
Mostly, it was really exciting to hear other people whose journalistic stories and struggles I could relate to. There’s so much to learn from all of these media professionals and fellow student journalists, and it helped me realize that working at The Beacon will give me skills I could use in all sorts of different career.
This was a long and tiring day so this blog is really short, but there’ll be more tomorrow! Goodnight New York!!