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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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Photo by Hannah Baade|The Beacon

                                                                                                                                                                                           

A TV panel discussion that will air on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes on Oct. 12 will feature Beacon Editor-in-Chief Malika Andrews.

 Andrews, a senior, will appear with two other panelists discussing women in sports during the 4-minute segment, which will be taped at ABC studios in New York City on Oct. 9. The segment will be part of an hour-long “One Nacion” special marking Hispanic Heritage month.
 
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Toni Collins will moderate the panel, which will also feature  journalist Denny Alfonso, who covered the Rio Olympics for ESPN, and a prominent female athlete yet-to-be announced. Andrews will speak from the point of view of a college woman covering sports.
 
Andrews received the invitation from ESPN while attending the recent Online News Association (ONA) conference in Denver with Beacon adviser Nancy Copic and three other student journalists from The Beacon. She made her initial contact with ESPN at a convention she attended with Beacon staff a year earlier.
 
“The Beacon put me in a position to succeed,” Andrews says. “On the most basic level, The Beacon allowed me to go to ONA and network with people at ESPN. And on a larger scale, I’ve learned the journalistic writing and reporting skills I need to be noticed.”
 
Andrews, who is from Oakland, Calif., joined The Beacon as a sports reporter during fall semester of her sophomore year. She was promoted to Sports Editor the following semester. University President Fr. Mark Poorman appointed Andrews Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon last February.
 
 
Last summer, Andrews was one of 12 college journalists in the nation selected to take part in the Sports Journalism Institute, which hosts a one-week journalism workshop, then places the college journalists in paid internships in major media organizations. In her internship in the sports department at The Denver Post , Andrews covered the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, the NBA Draft and the Denver Broncos training camp.
 
The previous summer, Andrews was an intern at KOIN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Portland.
 
Andrews’ reporting for The Beacon has won awards at the national level, most recently the National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award for collegiate sports reporting. Last spring she won Best Writing and Best Sports story in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association collegiate awards.
 
Andrews is one of 9 students in the country to receive a Sinclair Broadcast Group Diversity Scholarship and 1 of 4 recipients of a national Associated Press Sports Editors Scholarship.
 
Somehow, Andrews manages to juggle all this while supervising more than 2 dozen student staffers and overseeing The Beacon’s transition to an all-digital media outlet.  She credits The Beacon with getting her this far.
 
“I wasn’t expecting to be featured on network television as an undergraduate, ” she says.  “But now that I do have that opportunity, The Beacon has put me in a spot where I feel confident enough in my skills to accept.”
 
You can watch Andrews’ segment Oct. 12 at 4 p.m.(PST) on ESPN2 and online after that.
-Nancy Copic, Ass’t Director for Student Media

 

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The Beacon NY delegation: Cheyenne Schoen, Ben Arthur, Nancy Copic, Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews and Rachel Rippetoe

The Beacon NY delegation: Cheyenne Schoen, Ben Arthur, Nancy Copic, Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews and Rachel Rippetoe

By Nancy Copic, Beacon adviser

A few conference highlights compiled from 19 (!) pages of handwritten notes:

Keynote: Byron Pitts, reporter for ABC’s “Nightline”

This keynote was more inspirational than many sermons I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot of them. Byron Pitts may tell stories for a living, but his personal story is as compelling as any he’s reported as a network correspondent.

Raised by a young, low-income single mother in Baltimore, Pitts said he didn’t learn how to read until he was 12 or 13. Around that time, a “specialist” diagnosed him as mentally retarded and advised his mother to institutionalize him.  “Because you’re a person of limited means,” Pitts quoted the man as saying, “we recommend you put him an an institution.”

His mother wouldn’t have it, didn’t do that. What she did is take her boy to church.  A lot. She also wore a pendant in the shape of a mustard seed, a symbol of the faith that guides Pitts today.

“Raised Baptist, educated Catholic,” he says.

Pitts

Pitts ended up at Ohio Wesleyan University, where, as Pitts puts it, a professor saved his life. But first, another one told him he didn’t have what it took to succeed there. That news hit him hard, left him crying in a hallway on campus. Another professor, who was new to campus, noticed him crying and asked what was wrong. When he told her what the other professor said, she set him straight and told him not to give up. He stayed and he graduated.

Flash forward decades. Pitt is a famous Emmy-winning television journalist and he’s on the Board of Trustees at Ohio Wesleyan, who invites him to speak at graduation. Pitts tells his story at the ceremony, including the part about the professor who made him cry. After his speech, that professor, humbled and contrite walks up to him and tells him he’s sorry.

Did I mentioned he also was a stutterer when he was younger? “Being a stutterer has made me a better listener, ” he says

What bothers him? Indifference. He sees journalism an antidote.

“My profession needs you,” he said to the room full of student journalists from all over the country. “You are needed not just to speak the truth. You’re needed to help this world be better.”

Pitts thinks one of the most remarkable stories is about the resilience of the African American people as a race.

“I am the hope and dream of a slave,” he said. “My worst day is the best day for my great grandparents.”

Also, he writes thank you notes to everyone he interviews.

I think that’s remarkable. So is the fact that he stayed at least two hours to talk one-on-one with students who lined up to chat with him.

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Of course, Malika was one of them.

FBI Strategies of Interviewing

This was engaging. Clare, Cheyenne and Malika also gave it good reviews. Here are the strategies:

  1. Withhold judgment- Keep your feelings to yourself. Monitor your posture and tone. Give your source room to be who they are. (Verbal abuse does not work.)
  2. “Joining” Use language that shows you understand things from the other person’s perspective.
  3. “Mirroring”- Mimic body posture of the person you’re interviewing. If he leans back, you lean back (but not right away.)
  4.  Show curiosity- Use your body to show your curiosity. Nod at what they’re saying.
  5. Active Listening-Resist the urge to formulate your next question.
  6. Pay attention to personality types. Are they “thinking” types or “feeling” types?

Bonus tip for students: If your nervous for the interview, tell your source. It may create empathy.

 

Rachel, Cheyenne and Ben show their Beacon pride outside the theatre where Stephen Cobert does The Late Show

Rachel, Cheyenne and Ben show their Beacon pride outside the theatre where Stephen Colbert does The Late Show

Glossy Standards-The Ethics of Magazine Reporting and Editing

This panel featured:

  • Deborah Blum, Pulitzer-Prize winning science journalist and director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT
  • Hank Hersch, assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated
  • Andrew Seaman, chair of the ethics committee for the Society of Professional Journalists and senior medical journalist for Reuters in NYC
  • Derek Kravitz, contributing writer and news editor at The Wall Street Journal; researcher/instructor at Columbia University School of Journalism

The focus of this panel was fact checking and ethical debacles such as the Rolling Stone Rape story that was later discredited and actor Sean Penn’s (called “the ultimate freelancer.” by Andrew Seaman) much-maligned profile of drug lord El Chappo Guzman.

One interesting tidbit; If you’re a reporter for the Wall Street Journal and your published story needs to be corrected, the process is “incredibly embarrassing,” according to Derek Kravitz. You have to fill out a long form, which is circulated among several editors.

Andrews Seaman,Deboarh Blum ,Derek Kravitz and Hank Hersch

Andrews Seaman,Deboarh Blum ,Derek Kravitz and Hank Hersch

Big takeaway:”Keep that skeptical part of your brain always active.”

Beacon staffers getting their fact check on

Beacon staffers getting their fact check on

I lucked out with my chaperoning assignment. I escorted a group of students (from various universities from across the country) on a tour of the New York Times.

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Due to security concerns, we were not allowed to take photographs in the newsroom. But the lobby is interesting and was fair game. There’s a unique electronic art display that siphons words and phrases from the NYT’s 150+ years of archives and runs them like electronic teletypes across dozens of mounted screens that look like elongated smart phones.

In the lobby of the New York Times

Another interesting symbolic architectural element of the building: There are two banks of elevators. One for the editorial staffers, the other for people who work in sales and marketing. Get it? The business side should never mesh with the editorial side. Or so that was the thinking way back in 2007.

The courtyard (or “lobby garden”) of the building features sedges, ferns and birch trees, an earthy contrast to the surrounding steel and glass.

 

Birch trees and grass grow within the TImes complex.

One of the most relevant sessions at the conference was called “Manage Your Digital Workflow.” It was presented by Roman Heindorff, founder of Camayak.

Tips I found most relevant here:

  • Brand every piece of content.
  • Improve the access outside contributors have to pitch ideas to your newsroom
  • Only invest in writers you see a future with. You can’t keep shoving resources at people who just kind of stick around the newsroom and don’t grow.
  • Show reporters their metrics; show them their stories relative to their peers
  • Reward people. Incentivize (pizza?)
  • While working on a story is a good time to start promoting the story vis social media to get a buzz going.

And in our down time, we went to The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. The topic of the night: Donald Trump’s racist supporters

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Cheyenne, Ben, Malika, Nancy and Clare in TImes Square. Rachel was touring CBS.

Cheyenne, Ben, Malika, Nancy and Clare in Times Square. Rachel was touring CBS.

One more thing: The Beacon came in Second Place in the Apple Awards. Not bad!

-Nancy Copic, Ass’t Director for Student Media

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photo-16Congratulations to The Beacon’s  “designing women” + last spring’s assistant design editor, Zach Hartman for winning two Gold Circle Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at the Columbia School of Journalism in New York.

photo-14The Beacon won Third Place (in the nation) for Overall Design of a tabloid-size college newspaper. Student newspapers from Ithaca College and Loyola Marymount University won First and Second, respectively.

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This was truly a team effort. Congrats to Liz Tertadian, Shellie Adams, Emily Strocher, Laura Frazier and (designing dude) Zach Hartman.

photo-17The Beacon also won Third Place for Page One Design for this issue, designed by Emily Strocher and Shellie Adams.

caffeineThe Beacon won two Certificates of Merit for “Single Subject News or Feature Package, single page design”:

“Drugged for Success”– Story by Laura Frazier, Design by Shellie Adams:

aderallThe second Certificate of Merit was for the feature “Professors tap up the dance floor.”

Story by Hannah Kintner, Photos by Becca Tabor, Design by Rachel McIntosh

tap dance story 2013-10-02 at 6.23.31 PM-1

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It started with a tweet from Ryan Frank, publisher at Emerald Media Group, which publishes the University of Oregon’s student newspaper and website, The Daily Emerald.photo 1 Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon Kelsey Thomas saw that, and set off her own flurry of tweets…photo ephoto dphoto cphotophoto bphoto 4photo a“Yay” is right. The Beacon is a finalist for the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award, a national award that’s been given out for 86 years and widely considered to be the most prestigious award in college media. 

There are three categories: daily newspaper,  non-daily newspaper and two-year (community college) newspapers. The Beacon, in the non-daily category, is in impressive company.

Among the 22 colleges and universities whose student newspapers are finalists for the non-daily Pacemaker Award:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  Boston College, George Washington University, University of Oregon, Wake Forest University, Johns Hopkins University, and Washington University in St. Louis. Not too shabby.

Finalists in the daily category include Northwestern University, Harvard, Penn State, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. You get the idea.

According to ACP, the staff of the esteemed Miami Herald judged this year’s entries on:

  • coverage and content
  • quality of writing and reporting
  • leadership on the opinion page
  • evidence of in-depth reporting
  • layout and design
  • photography, art and graphics

You can read more about the judges’ criteria here.

Pacemaker winners in the non-daily category in recent years include student newspapers from University of Chicago, Boston College, Washington University, Santa Clara University, Butler University, Loyola Marymount University, San Francisco State University and Villanova University.

The Associated Collegiate Press will announce this year’s Pacemaker winners at the ACP convention in New Orleans on Oct. 26.

Yay!

-Nancy Copic, Adviser to The Beacon

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Caitlin Yilek, the 2011-2012 Beacon opinions editor, has won First Place  (in the nation!) for Editorial Writing in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards for editorials she wrote for The Beacon.

Two current Beacon staffers, Kate Stringer and Jackie Jeffers, are national finalists for Feature Writing and Sports Photography, respectively. The Beacon journalists competed in the “Small School” category, meaning colleges/universities with 5000 or fewer students.

Caitlin’s reaction when she heard the news? “I AM GOING TO FAINT. Oh. My. God.” (via Twitter. Follow her at @hausofcait.)

Caitlin Yilek First Place for Editorial Writing

Caitlin Yilek
First Place for Editorial Writing

Here are the three editorials that won Caitlin this national award:

Where are all the women?

University disregards student media

What has ASUP done for you?

Caitlin, who graduated from UP last May, is a copy editor at the St. Cloud Times in her home state of Minnesota. She will receive the award at the SPJ Excellence in Journalism convention in Anaheim, Calif. in August.

Kate Stringer is a national Mark of Excellence finalist for Feature Writing. The story that won her this honor was the first story she wrote for The Beacon. Molly’s Legacy: Hope for Haiti

Kate Stringer Nat'l finalist for Feature Writing

Kate Stringer
Nat’l finalist for Feature Writing

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Kate Stringer A bit excited to see The New York Times during National College Media Convention in March

Kate Stringer
A bit excited to see The New York Times during National College Media Convention in March

Next year, Kate will be Living/Faith & Fellowship editor at The Beacon.

Finally, Photo Editor Jackie Jeffers is a national Mark of Excellence finalist for Sports Photography. Jackie, who graduates from UP this weekend, recently accepted a position at Marchex, a mobile marketing/analytics company in Seattle.

Jackie Jeffers National Finalist for Sports Photography

Jackie Jeffers
National Finalist for Sports Photography

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Here is Jackie’s award-winning photo, taken at Merlo Field last fall.

award-winning photo by Jackie Jeffers

award-winning photo by Jackie Jeffers

Well done, Caitlin, Kate and Jackie!

-Nancy Copic

Ass’t Director of Student Media & adviser to The Beacon

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So when I was hanging out at the Wall Street Journal this morning…

Well as my good friend, a business journalist for the Wall Street Journal, was just telling me…

That espresso machine looks similar to the ones reporters use at the Wall Street Journal…

All of the above are sentences that I may or may not have attempted to work into my conversation today. Okay so I only obsessively name-dropped in my head, but since this is a blog about journalism this seems an appropriate place to freak out and brag: I WENT TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

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I expected a business journal to be rather serious, but everyone smiled and was very friendly. The new CEO of Dow Jones (the Journal is one of Dow Jone’s products) took out all the center offices, turned the outer offices into conference rooms, and made the rooms rows of desks instead of cubicles. His office was even about the same size as everyone else’s. Image

I was also surprised that almost all of their print reporters do broadcast. I had heard that employers expect journalists to be versatile, but seeing a print reporter walk up to one of the several broadcast areas to hop on air and speak with several people on a topic she recently covered was fascinating. The rest of my group was taking pictures of the Journal’s award wall so I wandered over to hear her speak on air for a minute.

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THE SHOES. Apparently broadcasters wear tennis shoes a lot just because they can. Business on top, party under the table?

After a couple minutes of her discussing the sequester (which, incidentally, I am currently covering for The Beacon) she went to a commercial break and said hi. So friendly!

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We also checked out the hub, the espresso machines, and the marketing and legal departments.

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When someone makes a sale in the corporate marketing department they ring a bell and everyone claps. After our group hung around a few minutes without anyone ringing a bell, our tour guide asked if one of us would just go do it. Since I have little shame I quickly agreed. I guess I can check have a room full of Dow Jones employees clap for me off my bucket list? I also secretly video-tapped it, but apparently I have just enough shame not to post the video. Later, two reporters sat down with us in the board room for half an hour to answer questions.

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Leslie Kwoh, the woman on the left with dark hair, applied to the Journal ELEVEN times (all for different positions) before finally being hired. She said by the time she was hired she knew everyone and was embarrassed that when she passed them in hallways they would say “Leslie! Glad you finally got hired.”

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View from the board room.

Although I don’t really have a ton of interest in business journalism, it was exciting to see a real journalism work environment. Especially one filled with so many friendly and interesting people. Thanks for letting me pretend I was a journalist for you for two hours, Wall Street Journal!

– Kelsey Thomas

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Casually hanging out by the hub waiting for breaking news and stuff.

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