I am an aspiring… something –

The regional Society of Professional Journalists conference definitely got me jazzed up about student journalism. The conference itself had some interesting sessions, but I think the most interesting part was comparing notes with other student journos on their college papers.

Especially talking to some other EICs about different takes on their jobs. GUYS, I would have shouted if I didn’t feel like it was an indoor-voice situation, I GET THAT EXASPERATED-HALF-LAUGH-BEMUSED-SMILING-HEADSHAKE-THING YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW. I GET YOU, MAN.

(Conferences are always fun because you go from feeling tragically misunderstood to feeling overwhelmingly understood.)

Anyway, there were several things I generally took away from the live-tweetin’, coffee-drinkin’, pixie-cut filled crowd.

First, video is a thing you should be doing. Or at least delegating. Or, ok, thinking about, if starting and sustaining a video arm of your college paper isn’t something you can feasibly imagine dedicating time to during your already overworked life. Also, who uses vine?

I’m thankful EIC at UAF is only a one-year position. But also, DAMMIT GUYS. I am just getting good at this job. Right now, I have this master plan of how to restructure web editor and photo editor to collaborate on multimedia while working together with KSUA TV who would have a news director in this idealistic world. Moar jrrrnalism.

Also, tips from the Hey Students When You’re Entering The Real World Here’s What To Do sessions from Someone Who Works With Interns: work hard, don’t lie, be a good writer, don’t post dumb stuff on Facebook. So basic. And yet, one of the Spokane broadcast journalists told us four people have been fired from their TV station for things posted on social media.

Not quite as obvious but insightful: have ONE project. It’s easy for fresh journalism graduates to find themselves in older newsroom and go on and on about the million things to upgrade, but something will actually happen if you change things one pitch at a time.

I think my favorite session from the weekend was the panel of Missoula journalists about covering sexual assault. A reporter from the Missoulian, the EIC of the student paper at University of Montana and the Dean of the journalism school all gave a fascinating perspective on what covering high profile rape cases on a college campus can be like. Also, mad props to the UM’s EIC. I can’t imagine dealing with a student newsroom that’s getting death threats.

Overall, it was a good conference, and while typing this in Word on the way back to the ‘banks, I feel adequately enthused to tackle what is sure to be a long day in the newsroom tomorrow.

Mostly, SPJ got me really hyped to drag my staff to the Alaska Press Club conference. There were some student staffs at the conference that had 10 or 15 reporters and photographers following their harrowed editors around. When I herd my cats all the way to Anchorage next week, it’s going to be awesome.

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