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#ONA17

By Olivia Sanchez

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Rachel, Rachel & I at the Washington Post

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Olivia Sanchez, Rachel Ramriez, Nancy Copic and Rachel Rippetoe at the Facebook party at Newseum

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Look, the capitol!

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Facebook party at Newseum!

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MJ Bears fellows give early career advice

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Truth, trust and media panel

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The art of getting s*** done panel

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a map I found in the exhibition hall of places conference attendees have reported from and what they reported on!

#ONA17 was an amazing experience. It was so great to be around people who are doing what I want to do (and doing it well). I feel reinspired and and ready to fill out the millions of internship apps I have due within the next month! Here is some of what I learned!

My takeaways:

  1. Never let one source make or break your story. Do enough reporting that you can do your story even if a big source blows you off. Never be in a position where you’re relying on one person.
  2.  Be patient in interviewing. Stay even after you get a good quote. Wait for people to open up to you.
  3. Do ambitious journalism.
  4. Don’t tie your identity to your job.
  5. Go above and beyond. Always say yes in the newsroom. Always be willing to do more.

My favorite sessions and what I learned:

The Art of Getting S**t Done
This session was done in panel format, and featured Justin Ellis (ESPN), S. Mitra Kalita (CNN Digital), and Elena Bergeron (SB Nation).  The description on the conference app said the session was designed for “anyone who wants real-world advice on accomplishing their goals.” And, “this is meant to be a candid, real-world conversation about what it takes to move something to your “done” column.

This was one of my favorite sessions because the panelists were open and honest about what it is like to work, and succeed in this industry, and still be a person. Some major things I learned from this session include:

  • You need to be able to thrive on change
  • What are the ideas I’m most passionate about? Prioritize. Organize your life around these.
  • Celebrate even the small victories
  • Don’t waste people’s time
  • Have other things (besides your job) in your life that mean a lot to you. Spend time and energy on these regularly.
  • Eat healthy to be more productive!!
  • Send “atta boy” emails on Friday (shoutouts to coworkers), and your work week goals to your boss on Monday.
  • To be a successful leader, you need to ask for help. Ask for input. Understand the decisions you’re making and the impacts they will have on others

Trust, Truth and Questions for the Media

This was the keynote on the first day of the conference and it was by far one of the best sessions I attended. It was moderated by Brian Stelter (CNN) and featured panelists Michelle Homes (Alabama Media Group), Elle Reeve (Vice), Nikole Hannah-Jones (New York Times Magazine), Cenk Uygur (The Young Turks) and Asma Khalid (WBUR).

The main topic of this session was the role of the media in the current political climate. It was great because all the panelists came from different backgrounds and publications, and all brought different viewpoints to the session. By far my favorite was Nikole Hannah-Jones and the way she talked about diversity issues in the media. She focused on the the need to give voice to marginalized communities who are so often left out of the news narrative the is promoted by mainstream media. She also was adamant about the need for diversity in newsrooms, and how important it is that reporters look like the communities that they are covering.

Panelists also discussed the importance of getting to know the communities you cover, not just popping in and out, but staying and returning and making sure that you have the real, full story.

Interviewing advice from David Farenthold

This session was awesome. David is awesome. #goals

  • If the front door doesn’t open, start outside and work your way in.
  • Go into interviews knowing more than your source
  • Always be polite
  • If someone is going to lie to you, let them tell the whole lie first. Then gently unravel it
  • Don’t worry about being annoying. It’s your job to get all the information
  • Let your sources talk! Be OK with silence. Never finish their sentences.
  • Never leave yourself open to unverified information, even if it’s coming from good intentions

 

 

 

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Last week, a couple of The Beacon staff and I attended the Online News Association (ONA) Conference held in Washington D.C.

My first time in the nation’s capital was unforgettable. Not only was I on the same rooftop at the Watergate Hotel as Carl Bernstein, but everything was absolutely a learning experience.

 

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A quick pose at the Watergate Hotel before we unexpectedly saw Carl Bernstein.

 

The first day of conference kicked off with a “first-timer’s” orientation. It was the first networking event, and the room was filled with enlightening conversations.

ONA featured some of the brightest minds in digital journalism. The keynote speakers were outstanding and inspiring.

The opening keynote, entitled “Trust, Truth and Questions for the Media,” was a panel moderated by Brian Stelter of CNN featuring Nikole-Hannah Jones of The New York Times, Michelle Holmes of Alabama Media Group, Asma Khalid of WBUR, Elle Reeve of Vice News Tonight and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks.

 

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Opening Keynote Panelists

 

7 things I learned from them:

  1. Journalists must represent the powerless.
  2. Journalists should create a deep understanding of the underrepresented communities and listen to deep conversations.
  3. There is a fine line between neutrality and objectivity. We should not be seduced by neutrality.
  4. Use social media to search for stories coming from underrepresented communities.
  5. We need to stop covering the same communities, same people all the time.
  6. Report with racial lens and learn to establish trust.
  7. We need to focus on stories that do not involve the Trump administration.

“There are so many inequality and segregation issues out there that did not root from the president,” Jones said. “It has always been there. He just made these issues transparent.”

 

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David Fahrentold of The Washington Post and I

 

One session featured the famous David Fahrentold, an investigative reporter with The Washington Post who is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

5 tips for expert interviewing (Fahrentold Edition):

  1. If people lie, let them tell the whole lie first then jump in and walk them through the lie.
  2. Social media is a tool for crowdsourcing. For example, you can use Twitter to gather information.
  3. Store all the information you can find, so when you need it again, you can go back and check again.
  4. Organize your notes! It will be useful in the future.
  5. When you walk into interviews, you have to completely be prepared and knowledgeable with information.

 

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More with the Washington Post

 

Another thing that journalists should be mindful of is that trust requires:

  • A way for the public to be heard.
  • A way for the newsroom to listen.

We must build relationships and check in with them consistently. Don’t just reappear when you need something.

One session was a talk led by quantitative futurist, Amy Webb. By closely examing fundamental shifts in human behavior or trends, she was able to point out what is in store for the future of journalism.

We also attended networking events hosted by Facebook and the Knight Foundation, TEGNA, The Washington Post and Google.

 

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From left to right: News Managin Editor Olivia Sanchez, Me (Senior Reporter/Multimedia Producer), The Beacon Advisor Nancy Copic and Editor-in-Chief Rachel Rippetoe

 

The final keynote address featured a satiric panel entitled “When Satire Is The Most Effective Political Coverage.” The speakers were Francesca Fiorentini of AJ+, Matt Negrin of The Daily Show, Melinda Taub of Full Frontal and were moderated by Versha Sharma of NowThis.

And while my body demanded for coffee every hour (Thank you, Google for the free coffee), I had an amazing time at #ONA17. My mind is currently filled with story ideas, and I cannot wait for next year’s conference in Austin, TX.

-Rachel Ramirez

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Some photos from our Goodbye Party…

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2016-17 Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews reflects on her time at The Beacon before turning the job  (and crown)  over to 2017-18 EIC Rachel Rippetoe

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Managing Editor Clare Duffy offers advice and encouragement to her successor Olivia Sanchez (right)

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Rachel Rippetoe presents a gift to the new Living editor, Hannah Sievert.

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Seniors with Beacon adviser Nancy Copic. L to R:  Kristen Garcia, Ben Arthur, Cheyenne Schoen, Nancy Copic, Malika Andrews, Sal Aversa, Clare Duffy

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Group hug

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Rachel Rippetoe – Living Editor
  1. Context is key and it’s missing from a lot of major news today. To truly do your job as a journalist you need to be reading and researching and encompassing the background of what’s happening in major news stories.
  2. You need to let your coworkers get to know you. Build your brand and it will help you gain opportunities.
  3. Identify people who have the job you want and look at their path to success !!
  4. Look at newsroom issues as a triage unit. Focus on what you can save best and trash what you need to.
  5. As an Editor- in- Chief, it’s not about being right. It’s about doing the right things for the right reason.
Olivia Sanchez – Opinion and Faith Editor
  1. Build relationships everywhere you go, you never know when they will come in handy!
  2. Teamwork is everything. No one person could keep The Beacon afloat, we are most successful when we all work together. (It’s also way more fun when we are all here for each other.)
  3. Good things come to those who hustle…. And if you want to make a career in New York, or in journalism, you have to commit and give it your all!
  4. Be memorable (but be yourself). Branding is super important. (I have been thinking about this a lot).
  5. Take a risk every once in a while! And remember that people usually want to help you succeed.
Jeffrey Braccia – Photographer/Videographer
  1. Be ready to do both (photos and video).
  2. A good photo captures and event but also make you feel emotion.
  3. Keep doing what you love. You never know what career path you will take.
  4. Networking is key.
  5. Digital is the future embrace what we have and keep making it the best it can be.

Dora Totoian- Reporter

  1. Don’t be afraid to put pressure on your college to give you information – you pay to go there! On a related note, the freedom and sanctity of the press and the importance of the First Amendment were repeated throughout the conference.
  2. Be confident and speak up! Especially if you’re a woman. One of the keynote speakers expressed her fear that an idea may seem too obvious or too dumb, when it’s usually not that way at all. In the same vein, ask questions (in any context), even if they sound stupid because they’re probably not. Joanne Lipman’s story of how she was hired for the Wall Street Journal really impressed me.
  3. Say “yes” to everything, a point Ann Shoket made in her keynote. She encouraged young people to “get a job, any job” and to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself – even if you’re scared, advice I considered really important to all people our age and especially student reporters.
  4. Networking is not that scary – it depends how you think of it. People have to know you to hire you for something, and by making yourself known, you’re letting them consider you a possible candidate for an internship or job.
  5. The Beacon is a high-quality newspaper. Can this be a takeaway? Is it bragging? I don’t really care because after hearing about and talking to people from other newspapers, I think it is.

Hannah Sievert- Reporter/Copy Editor

  1. Be aware of fake news.  I went to a session about fake news and how to identify it, called “Fake News in the Age of Trump.”  I took away from this that in this age we need to be aware of what news we are reading, if the news is legitimate, and the amount of fake news that is now on the internet.  The woman speaking recommended use of newsliteracyproject.org.  She also said we should be teaching students in middle and elementary school about how to read news and recognize fake news to help the problem of fake news in our society today.
  2. Mara Schiavocampo (ABC News) taught me that it’s important to build a network while in journalism.  She suggested to be yourself and be persistent in building relationships with others.  I took away from her that building a network comes from being consistent in reaching out to the person, every three months or so.  IMG_7363
  3. I went to a session on feature writing, and I took away that it’s important to be passionate, motivated, and interested when being a writer, and your basic mission as a news writer is to be a storyteller.  At the session, I took away that when feature writing, start the story by focusing on a person, scene or event that illustrates the main point of a story.  The lead should go from specific to general, and the ending should refer back to the lead.  My favorite thing the speaker said was, “Don’t lead a story with a quote unless it’s from God.”  He recommended that you give readers a sense of place from the very beginning with writing a feature piece, which comes from taking a small thing about the person that gives a sense of place. The feature writing session also taught me a lot about how to get freelance magazine assignments.  The speaker said to start small, and know the voice of the magazine thoroughly.  He recommended that you “come up with the best idea you’ve ever had” when thinking of what to submit to a magazine.  I also took away some good examples of feature writing, like “The Young Man, The Myth, The Legend,” by Wright Thomson.
  4. One of my sessions about multimedia was taught by a woman who was getting her PhD in multimedia, and she said that the written word part of a story is often the last thing people look at when looking at a story.  An audience first looks at the photography and media, and then reads.  She said to treat photography, multimedia, and visuals that accompany a story as equal importance to the writing of it. She also said the layout was important to having a person keep reading.
  5. Ann Shoket and Joanne Lipman spoke about the importance of getting a job when you’re young, learning how an office works, and learning how to run and be a part of a real business meeting.  They said you should initially not get hung up on a 1st job, but it’s important to get any job in the industry that you want to be at out of college.  She also said that she sees a lot of women and young people being in meetings sitting off to the side, thinking their opinion doesn’t count and not saying much.  She said it’s important to sit at the table in a meeting, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.  She said “force yourself” to speak up, even if it’s not your personality.

Annika Gordon- Multimedia Editor

  1. Networking is about forming and keeping up RELATIONSHIPS.
  2. Twitter is a super important tool for all journalism (including photojournalism) and I NEED to make one.
  3. I need to go into a situation with the mindset to take video AND photos.
  4. Use jpeg instead of raw format if you’re somewhere where things are happening pretty fast because this format, while of slightly poorer quality, is faster.
  5. When you have a job interview, make sure you have a war story to talk about, a challenge that you overcame.

BONUS: MEETING UP WITH BEACON ALUM (’14) KATE STRINGER

Speaking of networking… One of the joys of advising student media is connecting current students with former Beacon staffers. In New York, we met up with Kate Stringer, a 2014 grad living in New York and working as a reporter/producer for The 74, an online publication focused on education issues.Thanks Kate for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with us!

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Former Beacon reporter and Living Editor Kate Stringer (’14) holds current Beacon staffers in rapt attention with her tales of working and living in New York as a young journalist.

Throwback: March 2013 as then-Beacon reporter Kate Stringer was serenaded by a singing waiter in New York during The Beacon’s trip to the College Media Association conference,

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The Beacon bond stretches across generations.

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The Beacon’s transition from a weekly newspaper to an all digital 24/7 news outlet has turned into a model that student media organizations at other colleges and universities apparently are watching. CMA invited The Beacon to lead a session on the subject at the New York conference.

Beacon adviser Nancy Copic leading “Diving into Digital” session.

Malika, Clare and I worked as a team in telling our counterparts from other schools how we changed our approach to our work, overhauled our workflow and implemented rolling deadlines, incorporated multimedia and inforgraphics in our storytelling and how we use analytics as a motivator.

Beacon Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews talks about the transition from weekly newspaper to all-digital campus news outlet.

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Managing Editor Clare Duffy describes the big change in Beacon workflow since going all-digital.

The Beacon’s Dynamic Duo

Watching Clare and Malika, I felt nothing but pride at their leadership over the past year and their professionalism during the session itself. Throughout the rest of the conference, we were all approached with positive feedback and questions about how we do what we do. Because Malika is also headed to the New York Times to be a James Reston Fellow after graduation, she was also asked to be on a panel about successfully moving from college media into the professional world. She was the talk of the conference after that.

Group text from Beacon photographer Jeff Braccia:

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-Nancy Copic

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Update on our foray into all-digital

Our first all-digital semester went well and was well-received.  Here’s a video that looks into some of the analytics.

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Election Night 2016- The Beacon’s first all-digital election coverage included video reaction of students to the ongoing results throughout the night.

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Presidential Election Night 2016

Donald Trump’s election shocked the newsroom.

We started the second semester with a newsroom visit from Sara Roth, investigative multimedia journalist from KGW. As far as I can tell, no journalist in the Portland television market is going into depth the way her stories do.

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Sara Roth of KGW speaking in The Beacon newsroom

She inspired the students and even offered to meet with them one-on-one for coffee. I know at least one Beaconite took her up on the offer.

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Sara was a hit with this bunch.

In other professional development news, several staffers and I attended a presentation and training session by the Solutions Journalism Network. It was hosted by the University of Oregon’s journalism graduate program at its lovely facility in downtown Portland. Solutions Journalism, which is based in New York and has its roots at The New York Times’ “Fixes” column,  is an approach to reporting that highlights solutions to the problems covered in stories.

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Malika Andrews, Ben Arthur, Rachel Ramirez, adviser Nancy Copic, Cheyenne Schoen, Olivia Sanchez, Rachel Rippetoe and Clare Duffy at the Solutions Journalism training event.

We’re now hiring for next year, and are going all out on recruiting. Here’s one of several promotional videos posted on social media. The Beacon also sponsored a #NoFakeNews t-shirt giveaway to get the word out.

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Finally, we have a new editor-in-chief for 2017-2018. Nashville’s own Rachel Rippetoe has been a standout ever since she joined The Beacon as a freshman three years ago. Cheyenne Schoen’s story on Rachel’s appointment was published this week.

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Rachel Rippetoe (left) and current editor-in-chief Malika Andrews share a moment shortly after Rachel was appointed 2017-18 editor-in-chief by University President Mark Poorman.

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There is innovative, rich journalism happening on digital sites. Examples:  “The Counted Project” by Guardian U.S.;  the Online Journalism Awards winners including OPB’s coverage of the Oregon Standoff in Malheur County.

Publishers are dependent on Facebook in a big way to get their content out there, for better or worse. Also, Facebook Live video might be useful in increasing Beacon engagement/coverage.

Fidji Simo Director of Product, Facebook

Fidji Simo
Director of Product, Facebook

From the data analysts at Chartbeat:

Facebook traffic peaks at 10 p.m. Is there a mismatch between when we are posting and when users are on Facebook?

Emotion drives social shares.

Stories popular in Google search are information-driven. People search for specific topics of interest to them.

Affirmation of the importance of  The Beacon staying UP-centric: Websites that stay true to their mission (their “niche”) have the most loyal audiences.

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“We are in a post-broadcast world.” – Ashley Codianni, Director of Social Media for CNN. Customize to platforms. At CNN, social is considered part of the process, not an afterthought.

“Reimagining what content is for every platform.”

In this election season: “Make sure your social media feeds are fact-checking candidates.”

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Cheyenne Schoen, Claire Duffy, Nancy Copic, Malika Andrews, Ben Arthur

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There are jobs out there for sharp college graduates with digital and journalism skills and experience via student media and/or internships.

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ONA job board

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Tools and strategies working with a staff that can’t be in the same room: This session was practically a love letter to Slack. One piece of advice that resonated with me, the same advice I give students: Don’t have difficult/emotional conversations via text messaging.

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Nancy Copic, Ben Arthur, Cheyenne Schoen, Malika Andrews, Clare Duffy

You cannot overestimate the value of giving ambitious students the opportunity to learn and network with professionals.

 

 

-Nancy Copic, Ass’t Director for Student Media

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