Big sights, big sounds and a big journalism conference captivated six students and one adviser from the Eagle’s Eye newspaper, March 12-15 in New York City.
The College Media Association hosted the National College Media Convention, which attracted 1200 student journalists to participate in over 250 sessions, tours to top publications such as New York Times, keynotes by famous journalists like CBS News’ Scott Pelley, and a Times Square location in the center of the media capital of the United States.
Eagle’s Eye Managing Editor Marissa Stone, News Editor Samantha Marquardt, Photo Editor Eliza Demarest, Online Editor Drew Fisher, Sports Editor Sage Sauerbrey and Asst. Photo Editor Keala Reeverts, along with Adviser Tanya Canino, jetted across country on a Red Eye, arriving in New York City at 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 12. After navigating the subway to their hotel, the SNC group began sightseeing with walks through Central Park, a stop at McGee’s Pub (the inspiration for How I Met Your Mother) and finished the night with the musical, Once.
Thursday through Sunday were devoted to the journalism conference, where students could pick and choose which sessions they wanted to attend.
The photo editors quickly became fans of David LaBelle, of Kent State University, who taught photography sessions, “Healing with Photography,” “Photography, Timing, Light & Composition,” and “Picture Stories.”
“David LaBelle was honest, energetic, passionate and insightful. He had an interesting approach to dealing/coping with life’s wounds through photography. He said shooting photographs of ‘healing places’ changes our brain chemistry. Human connections teach us to be compassionate and more curious,” Eliza said.
Drew attended a few sessions geared toward online news and multimedia, taught by presenters recognized as some of the top in their field. “Writing for a Big Web Audience” was presented by Ben Popken of NBC.com; “Digital Storytelling by MediaStorm’s Samia Khan; and “Aggregated Sites – Getting the Buzz” by BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel and Katie Notopoulos.
Sage left “Ten Ways to Land the Perfect Internship” wishing that he had been able to go to that session before he applied to Powder magazine last month. There were several sessions with career advice, even one called “So You Don’t Want to be a Journalist,” which discussed the core journalism skills that are transferrable to many jobs.
Keynote speaker Scott Pelley, the chief anchor for CBS News and a broadcast reporter for 60 Minutes, inspired the students to “be curious and have a quest for knowledge,” as Keala said. Eliza appreciated his goal to be fair, accurate, honest and curious.
Extremely knowledgeable journalists in all aspects of the profession taught many of the sessions – one of the advantages of a New York City conference. Media tours were scheduled to several online and print publications. Tanya was able to lead a group to the Wall Street Journal – a great tour that included a walk through the newsroom, a multimedia studio where journalists film a daily report in eight languages, the hall of Pulitzer Prizes and the tribute to Daniel Pearl, who lost his life to al-Qaeda after being kidnapped while he was covering a story in Pakistan. This small town journalism adviser was enraptured with “what if” I hadn’t fallen in love with Lake Tahoe?
As an adviser, Tanya also was part of the professionals who critiqued student newspapers and was one of seven presenters for the session, “Fast Five: Great Ideas for Teaching and Advising in No More Than Five Minutes.” Short, but very sweet.
There’s probably not a better place in the world than New York City to learn about journalism, making this a memorable and worthwhile conference.