National Media Conference in Louisville, Kentucky

On Oct. 25, Katie Shank, Zach Powell, Kieren Marshall, myself, and our faculty advisor, Instructor Matthew McBride traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to attend the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association (ACP/CMA) Conference. College newspaper staffers from all across the country gathered to learn new things and get great advice.

This trip was my first plane ride. I was a bit nervous at first, but then realized it was not too bad. I did, however, keep thinking about a Final Destination movie where the plane crashed, but I quickly stopped thinking about that after I realized I was psyching myself out.

The convention hotel, Galt House, was beautiful. Twenty five stories high and two separate buildings connected by a skywalk; the elevators were the only bad aspect to this place. After checking into both the hotel and the convention, we settled into our rooms then headed to the first sessions of the weekend.

Katie Shank and I attended a session about private schools, like our dear Wilson College. The speaker talked about the six kinds of relationships private colleges have with their student newspapers. It was interesting to hear other students discuss how their newspapers worked with the administration of the college. The speaker gave everyone who asked questions great advice with how to handle certain situations.

I spent all of Friday in sessions on graduate schools, internships, and creating a resume that future employers would appreciate. The session on “Making It in New York” convinced me that I should go to graduate school after graduation to increase my experience.

The “D.C. Internship” session explained an internship opportunities in Washington, D.C. and how they assisted interns with job placement after graduation. At another session tips were given to assist students in how to make themselves standout to future employers. The speaker went into detail about making a creative resume and then got hired for his work. Now he hires people for jobs.

My favorite sessions were for editors only. “Editor Therapy” is basically what it sounds like. The speaker asked us to share our complaints with her about what we had to deal with as editors. She gave us great advice with how to handle issues in the newsroom. “Editor-In-Grief 1&2” also offered advice on how to be better editors and handle inner conflict within the staff of the newspaper.

There was a session called, “No, Really. I’m with the Band” that I really enjoyed. Since my goal is to be an entertainment journalist, mostly a music journalist, this session was very interesting and the highlight of the trip for me. The speaker told us the  story of how she became a music journalist and photographer and gave us pointers with how to contact musicians and artists, and how to interact with them. She was fun and knowledgeable on the subject.

On Sunday, the keynote speaker was a survivor of the Parkland High School shooting. He was interviewed by one of the college newspaper’s advisor and talked about what he was feeling and what he experienced during the shooting.

He also talked about “March 4 Our Lives” and how the movement is going around the country to colleges, persuading college students to vote on Election Day. After he was finished the interview, students had the opportunity to ask questions. There was a brief moment when no one got up and the advisor made the comment, “We’re in a room full of journalists and no one has a question?” The ice was broken and students began asking questions after that.

This trip was both fun and enlightening. We were all given great advice and acquired a lot of great ideas to help improve Billboard. We also experienced the sights and sounds that Louisville had to offer us throughout the weekend.  I learned so much on this trip and experienced airline flight for the first time. I got to know a few of my fellow Billboarders a little better, which I appreciated a great deal.

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