Archive for the ‘Associated Collegiate Press’ Category

Ben Arthur|

It’s been a whirlwind of an adventure in New York! From the amazing tours, to the sightseeing, to the delicious (and often overpriced) food, it’s been a trip to remember.

Although I am sad to see the conference come to an end, I’m grateful for the opportunity to have learned so much about journalism in a three-day span. Honestly, there was NO better way to top off all that that I learned than with one last session about the different journalism-friendly apps and websites available that I can utilize back on the Bluff!

I highly encourage all Beacon staffers and aspiring journalists to check out all these cool tools:IMG_2347


  • Snaplight- Gives you the ability to highlight text in screenshots. Super useful if you see cool quotes in articles that you want to share!
  • TapeACall- For $7.99/year, you can record your calls. Can come in handy for those of you that struggle with transcribing phone interviews. I know I do at times. Just be sure to ask permission before you start recording! 
  • PCM recorder- Audio recording app
  • Skype recorder- Records skype calls
  • AudioNote- Allows user to take notes while recording audio
  • Reuters TV- Makes it easy to customize your own news broadcast
  • Snapseed- photo editing app (Google)
  • Oneshot- Highlights area of texts from screenshots (Similar to Snaplight)
  • Giphycam- Creates ‘gifts’ that you an include with your tweets and other social media postings
  • Hyperlapse- Creates time lapse videos (if you don’t already have the built-in feature in your phone)
  • Bubbli- Creates panoramic/360 images
  • Printicular- Allows you to print pics straight from your phone
  • EverNote- You can save just about anything in this app. Photos, files, videos, links, you name it.
  • Instapaper- Any cool or interesting articles that you found browsing on the internet that you want to save for later? This app is the one for you


  • Otranscribe.com- As reporters, the tediousness of transcribing interviews is not new to us. This website helps you to streamline that process 
  • rapportive.com- Displays all of the email sender’s social media profiled (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

These are just a few of the many that stood out to me! The complete list can be found in the slideshow at this link.



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Congrats to Beacon Sports Editor Malika Andrews for placing Fifth for Sports Story of the Year in the prestigious annual Associated Collegiate Press competition.

Malika at the ONA15 conference

Malika at the ONA15 conference

Here’s her winning story.

And here is the complete list of winners and finalists for ACP Story of the Year in every category.

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Looking back on my time in New Orleans is a bit difficult because the sheer volume of things I experienced is so great. On the one hand, the National College Media Convention was a dense barrage of new information about writing, reporting, photography, editing, social media – the list goes on. But every time I had the chance to rest my mind, I would walk out into New Orleans, which during Halloween season is a bombardment of bright lights, live music and outrageous costumes. The whole weekend fluctuated between mental overload and sensory overload. But in a good way.

One of the sessions that really stood out to me from the conference (mostly because I’m a huge nerd for writing in any form) was called “Writing Visually.” A photographer and a news writer led the session, outlining principles that are central to both written journalism and photojournalism. The basic idea is this hierarchy of traits in photography:

  1. Informational
  2. Graphically appealing
  3. Emotional
  4. Intimate

Basically, the argument was that these characteristics are just as applicable to news writing. Most important, or course, is information – each story needs to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. The next step is for writing to sound nice and flow well. This should also be achievable in all stories. Emotion is not always possible in journalism – sometimes our job is just to present information to the public. But when stories can connect to readers’ emotions, they tend to have more impact. Finally, the best stories are intimate, meaning they can present a person, place or event in a way that most people will never be able to see.

-Philip Ellefson, Opinions Editor of The Beacon

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One of the most compelling presenters at the conference was Ted Jackson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist from the New Orleans Times-Picayune who prefers to be known simply as a journalist.SAM_0712

Jackson’s riveting account of covering Hurricane Katrina left many of us in tears. The backstory to the photo below went like this: He was on the end of a bridge overlooking the people standing on porch railings of their flooded house. As he took photos, a man yelled at him to stop. “This is an important moment, and the people of the world need to see this,” he said.

Then women asked for his help. They wanted to have the little girl cling to a log, which they intended to push through the water towards him so she could be saved. But Jackson said he knew the current would just carry her away before the log could reach him. So he said no. Eventually help arrived, and all of them were saved. But Jackson didn’t know that until one year later when the Times-Picayune did an anniversary special on Katrina. He found the family in a Houston shelter. They were happy to see him because they wanted to see the pictures he’d shot of them. “We need them for our family history,” they said.





Ted Jackson of the TImes-Picayune

Ted Jackson of the TImes-Picayune

 You need to care about the people you cover, Jackson told us. “Learn to see with your heart, ” he said.

More photos from Ted Jackson:




SAM_0719-Nancy Copic, Ass’t Director of Student Media

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A typical scene between sessions at the ACP convention: highly caffeinated and motivated student journalists hungry to learn tools of the trade, digital and otherwise.


Beacon Opinions Editor Philip Ellefson, Editor-in-Chief Kelsey Thomas and me before the Pacemaker awards ceremony on the final day of the convention. One of the reasons we went to the convention was that The Beacon was named a finalist.



None of us expected The Beacon to win. And it didn’t. But we were honestly thrilled just to be finalists, which entitled us to a shiny plaque. There was a small problem, though.SAM_0702

PS- Paging copy editor: Portland, Pennsylvania?SAM_0701

You can see the list of Pacemaker winners here.

Nancy Copic

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As the sun rose over the Mississippi River, more than 2000 collegiate journalists and their advisers prepared for Day One of the Associated Collegiate Press convention in New Orleans.

Kelsey, Philip and I had to choose from dozens of sessions. So many looked so interesting, so relevant to media in general and student media in particular. Among the highlights for me this day: sessions on infographics, critiquing and sexual assault on campus.


At least some millennials have an affinity for newspapers. Most of them are at this convention, apparently.

At least some millennials have an affinity for newspapers. Most of them are at this convention, apparently.

Online infographics

Alex V Cook, adviser of The Daily Reveille at Louisiana State University led this session on using Tableau Public and Google Fusion Tables to make digital infographics. He spent a few minutes emphasizing what we already know: People don’t read newspapers so much anymore, especially younger people. He referenced a term coined by Google: Generation C , so called because they create, curate and collaborate on content.  And by doing so, they create community.

He spoke about the importance of telling stories in new ways, specifically infographics. What skill do journalists today need to know?  Excel.  They need to learn how to find a large amount of data, crunch the numbers and find the story.

As an example, he showed some infographics from a story about the salary of Les Miles, LSU’s football coach. They made the charts from the free software, Tableau. He also recommended Google Fusion Tables, which The Beacon already is using for its online Public Safety reports.


Critiquing for Real

This session offered some fresh ways to approach what is for The Beacon and me a weekly ritual. Dan Close from Wichita State University led this. Many of his suggestion were simply ways to “frame” or “brand” the critique.


His ideas included:

1)  A Top Ten List (the best and perhaps the worst?)

2) The good, the bad and the really ugly

3) Have sources critique your coverage. Or invite alums or students from an editing class.

4) Have critique be content-specific each week. For example, focus on ledes one week, photos the next, news judgment the following week.

Underlying all of these techniques is the notion that a critique is an important teaching tool. They should be supportive and explanatory

Speaking of editing, ACP had a copy editing/geography problem. Notice anything wrong with Kelsey’s name tag? It was a reoccurring theme throughout the conference.

Portland, Pennsylvania? Hello, copyeditor?

Portland, Pennsylvania? Hello, copyeditor?
Critique workshop

Campus Rape Coverage Success Stories

Editors of three college newspapers that have aggressively covered sexual assault on their campus spoke about the resistance and challenges they faced and the gratification of perseverance. In all cases, they said their administrations seemed more concerned about university image than sexual assault. The editors also criticized the practice of treating sexual assault as a disciplinary matter rather than the crime that it is.

“These people (university disciplinary boards) aren’t trained to handle these things,” Samantha Vicente , an editor from the student newspaper at Oklahoma State University, said.

But Nicole Comparato of The Daily Tarheel at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said it was important for student journalists to persevere in covering this issue, despite resistance from university administration.

“You really can make a huge difference in raising awareness, she said.

Nicole Comperato (UNC, Chapel Hill), Samantha Vicent (Oklahoma St. University), Katie Taggert (Otterbein)

Nicole Comperato (UNC, Chapel Hill), Samantha Vicent (Oklahoma St. University), Katie Taggert (Otterbein)


-Nancy Copic, Ass’t Director of Student Media and Adviser to The Beacon

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Kelsey Thomas, Philip Ellefson and I landed late tonight in New Orleans, where we will spend most of the next four days in conference rooms with 2300 other college journalists and their advisers. We’re here for the Associated Collegiate Press fall convention, a whirlwind of workshops on all things college media. But tonight, on the eve of the convention, we took a walk down Bourbon Street.

Lest you think things got too wild, I will tell you that in the midst of this hedonistic haven, Kelsey checked in with The Beacon crew at home putting together tomorrow’s edition. Here is a photo of her reviewing the PDF of page one. That’s dedication.photo-19


Now, as the moon glows above the Mississippi, The Beacon delegation will try to get a few hours of sleep before diving in to #CollegeMedia13.


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