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ONA16 Perks: Exclusive access to the Denver Press Club. Photo by: Nancy Copic.

By Clare Duffy |

Conferences are a whirlwind – there is learning, there is networking, and there is a marked lack of sleeping. This was my second ONA conference, and while I pretty much never stop thinking about The Beacon, there was an additional thing on my mind this year: My post-grad life in journalism.

This was a simultaneously thrilling and frightening subject to meditate on, but ONA16 was yet another reminder that there are many options for what my place in the journalism industry could look like, and that the journalism industry is the same exciting, inspiring, innovative field I’ve always loved.

Here are my biggest take-aways from the week:

  • “Doing Digital” can be a job in and of itself. I’ve always had this idea that if you work on the digital end of things, you’ll be “doing digital” for a print publication or a broadcast station, basically just pushing their content out online. However, I met so many people whose job is to create content and break news solely for online or on social – and it works so much better when it’s native to the platform. A good reminder for The Beacon and for life.
  • As we work to report more and more about issues of diversity on campus, one thing I was reminded of at the “Telling Diverse Stories” panel lead by MSNBC/NBC journalists (including Trymaine Lee, who was arrested in Ferguson while reporting), is that it is important to fact check and “sensitivity check” your stories about diverse communities with a member of that community, even if there is not a representative in your newsroom. However, it is important to avoid having a “token” representative from a community that you always rely on, silencing other voices.
  • An interesting note from this session, too, was this fact from a Gallup poll last week: “Trust in mainstream media is the lowest it has ever been.” I think this must motivate us to continue telling the stories that matter, getting into the communities we’re reporting on, and using data and authoritative facts to back up the human side of stories.
  • A reminder for breaking stories in the age of digital: When you update a breaking story on the same breaking page, re-tease it and change the headline to reflect the new news and make sure your readers are going back for the most current info.
  • Facebook Live! I have never heard the words “Facebook Live” so many times in a 72-hour period. Journalists are REALLY into Facebook Live right now, so it’s a tool I’ll be looking to learn how to use well ASAP. CNN’s Social Media manager suggests using Facebook Live to take people inside somewhere they wouldn’t normally get to go, to make them feel like they’re really there (for example: inside a volcano in Indonesia – that was a real thing).
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The first keynote was a talk with the Head of Product with Facebook, who spoke about opportunities for journalists to monetize on Facebook.

ONA Keys to Success

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ONA16 Beacon crew.

By CHEYENNE SCHOEN |

On reporting…

  • Use analytics to your advantage. Social media is a huge source of traction to news websites. Use data from Google Analytics to determine the most strategic way to bring in readers. Use analytics to see where most traffic is coming from. Tailor each social media post to that specific channel. Facebook posts are going to look different than Twitter posts, etc.
  • Appeal to your readers’ sense of empathy. Fidji Simo, the director of product at Facebook, talked about how consumers want to see the news that they can feel personally connected to. Facebook Live is one way to achieve this. The best part? Anyone with a smartphone can do it.
  • Report with a community, not on it. Know your readers and their interests and incorporate them into the coverage. User engagement is important and will make users more loyal to your source if they feel like their opinion matters.
  • Acknowledge your blind spots. Every reporter carries with them their own biases and identities. According to panelists from “Latinos and the 2016 Election: Reporting on Communities Regardless of Your Background,” diversifying coverage is essential to sharing the voices and opinions of those who might otherwise be overlooked. It is important to recognize that your coverage has blind spots and to listen to the needs of the minorities in the community to try and make up for those blind areas of coverage.

On networking…

  • Follow-up. After you meet someone it is important to follow-up with them. It’s polite to say thank you, and it also leaves an impression that is more lasting than a handshake. You can send a handwritten card (best) but an email works as well.
  • Play the “student card.” Professionals like talking to students. We’re young, willing to learn and are (sometimes) impressionable. But most of all, people love talking about their work. This means that people will love to talk to you all about their jobs and might even try to get you on-board with them.
  • Loosen up. A lot of professionals are just like grown-up versions of us. They party, dance and eat enchiladas. Yes, be professional; but don’t get so focused on a firm handshake that you forget to have fun.

 Other cool tips:

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You can create Chat Bots to answer questions for your readers. For example,  a bot that answers basic questions about the election could supplement a story about the election to answer additional questions readers might have.

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According to Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute, journalists of the future will be heavily involved in using digital tools and data to design interactive interfaces. I disagree that reporters’ jobs will be obsolete, but I understand that a lot of the work reporters do now could be done by bots in the near-future.

 

Welcome video:

 

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During a hands-on (off-the-air) lesson on  Videolicious, reporters Emily Peterson and Hannah Sievert find drama on campus:

Ben Arthur, Cheyenne Schoen, Rachel Rippetoe, Malika Andrews and Clare Duffy share their experiences from their summer internships

Ben Arthur, Cheyenne Schoen, Rachel Rippetoe, Malika Andrews and Clare Duffy share their experiences from their summer internships

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ONPA Awards

In the better-late-than-never department, here are the  winners of the annual statewide collegiate journalist competition sponsored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

The Beacon fared well, including snagging the award for General Excellence and First, Second and Third Place for Best Writing AND Best Sports Story, among others. Go team!

FIRST PLACE:

General Excellence- The Beacon

Best Writing – Malika Andrews

Best News Story- Students Witness Refugee Crisis (Alina Rosenkranz and Clare Duffy)

Best Feature Story- Class on the Cusp (Philip Ellefson and Cassie Sheridan)

Best Sports Story – His Way Out (Malika Andrews)

SECOND PLACE:

Writing- Cheyenne Schoen

Feature Story – Knowledge as Power (Clare Duffy)

Special Section – Get Outside (Rebekah Markillie and Karen Garcia)

Series- Transition: Transgender student finds home in Mehling HallTransphobic Incident spurs pain, action (Cheyenne Schoen, Lydia Laythe)

Sports Story – Socially Constricted (Malika Andrews)

Columnist – Heartbeat (Cassie Sheridan)

Photography – Hannah Baade

Design – Rebekah Markillie and Hannah Baade

Graphic: The Freshman Equation – Hannah Baade

Website – Christian Rodriguez and Beacon staff

Freshman Equation graphic

THIRD PLACE:

Writing – Clare Duffy

Editorial- We Stand With Planned Parenthood (Lydia Laythe and Beacon Editorial Board)

Sports story- Behind the Game Face (Malika Andrews)

Section- Clare Duffy and Beacon reporters

Cartooning: Tell Us What You’re Doing For Mental Health (Nathan DeVaughn)

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Malika Andrews, Editor-in-Chief Major: Organizational Communication Hometown: Oakland, CA

Malika Andrews, Editor-in-Chief
Major: Organizational Communication
Hometown: Oakland, Calif.

 

Clare Duffy, Executive editor of News & Digital Development Major: Communication Studies (Journalism track) Hometown: San Luis Obispo, CA

Clare Duffy, Executive Editor of News & Digital Development
Major: Communication Studies (Journalism track)
Hometown: San Luis Obispo, Calif.

 

Rachel Rippetoe, Living Editor Major: Communication Studies Hometown: Nashville, TN

Rachel Rippetoe, Living Editor
Major: Communication Studies
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.

 

Hunter Jacobson, Sports Editor Major: Communication Studies Hometown: Bellingham, WA

Hunter Jacobson, Sports Editor
Major: Communication Studies
Hometown: Bellingham, Wash.

 

Olivia sanchez, Opinion Editor Major: Psychology Hometown: Medford, OR

Olivia Sanchez, Opinion Editor
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Medford, Ore.

 

Cheyenne Schoen, Sr. Reporter & Copy Editor Major: Communication Studies Hometown:Portland, OR

Cheyenne Schoen, Sr. Reporter & Copy Editor
Major: Communication Studies
Hometown:Portland, Ore.

 

Hannah Baade, Creative Director Major: Economics/Finance Hometown: Tampa, FLA

Hannah Baade, Creative Director
Major: Economics/Finance
Hometown: Tampa, Fla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beacon has won four regional Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and advances to the national competition in the following categories:
General News Reporting, In-Depth Reporting, Online Sports Reporting and Photo Illustration.
Here are the specifics:
General News Reporting: “Students Safe After Paris Attacks” by Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews and Luke Loranger
(Finalist: “Faculty to Admin:I’m underpaid” by Cheyenne Schoen, Clare Duffy and Malika Andrews)
In-Depth Reporting: “Transgender student finds a home/Transphobic Incident Spurs Pain, Action” by Cheyenne Schoen and Lydia Laythe
Online Sports Reporting: “His Way Out” by Malika Andrews, Hannah Baade and Parker Shoaff
Photo Illustration: “Are We Prepared?” by Nathan DeVaughn and Hannah Baade
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(Finalist: “Where Does Your Trash Go?” by Rebekah Markillie)
The regional competition involved student media from universities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska with enrollment under 10,000. National winners will be announced at the SPJ convention in New Orleans in September.
Also, the College Media Association awarded The Beacon Second Place in the Apple Awards for Best Newspaper from schools with fewer than 5000 students. First Place went to Rice University’s student newspaper.
Malika, Cheyenne, Ben and Clare with the award at the College Media Convention in New York

Malika, Cheyenne, Ben and Clare with the award at the College Media Convention in New York

Additionally, several Beacon staffers have landed selective media internships this summer.
Malika Andrews will intern at the Denver Post as part of the elite Sports Journalism Institute. The Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism has awarded paid internships to Clare Duffy (The Bend Bulletin) and Cheyenne Schoen (Klamath Falls Herald and News). Ben Arthur will intern for the sports department of KOIN-TV (CBS).
Go team!
– Nancy Copic

And here it is: an historic final issue with historic page one placement of an editorial on an historic issue.

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This Beacon video by Shelby Vaculin provides context for the editorial:

 

 

The final issue also featured a look back by 2015-16 Editor-in-Chief Katie Dunn and a look ahead to our all-digital move by 2016-17 Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews

Behind the scenes at our final print production night:

They don't seem too sad to say goodbye to print, do they?

They don’t seem too sad to say goodbye to print, do they?

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Kobe Bryant’s last night in the NBA was EIC Katie Dunn’s last night at The Beacon

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One print lover posted these on all the news racks.

One print lover posted these on all the news racks.

Sports Editor Malika Andrews passes the "torch" to her successor, Hunter Jacobson

Sports Editor Malika Andrews passes the “torch” to her successor, Hunter Jacobson

Clare Duffy stands in for Living Editor Karen Garcia (in class) and Rachel Rippetoe takes over the Living section

Clare Duffy stands in for Living Editor Karen Garcia (in class) and Rachel Rippetoe takes over the Living section.

Opinions Editor Lydia Laythe welcomes Olivia Sanchez to the position for next year.

Opinions Editor Lydia Laythe welcomes Olivia Sanchez to the position for next year.

Copy Editor Melissa Aguilar was so good she has two replacements: Hannah Sievert and Cheyenne Schoen.

Copy Editor Melissa Aguilar was so good she has two replacements: Hannah Sievert and Cheyenne Schoen.

Design Editor Rebekah Markillie awards new Creative Director Hannah Baade a trash can for reasons only they understand.

Design Editor Rebekah Markillie awards new Creative Director Hannah Baade a trash can for reasons only they understand.

The crowning

The crowning.

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