During the last week of January, the sports editor and I embarked on a journey to Minneapolis for an ACP conference. Honestly, the more often I go there the more I fall in love with the city. I expected to meet other student journalists, ones who knew exactly what they wanted to do, where they wanted to end up and had all the answers. I was wrong.
There were some who knew this was exactly what they wanted to do the rest of their lives, but–there’s always a but. But, they had the same problems we did, people missing deadlines, no one being interested in joining even though they say they want to be a journalist etc.
My favorite part of this convention was the editor’s round table. This was where editors- whether sectional or in-chiefs, could gather around and talk about problems they had and others could offer solutions. We talked deadlines, we talked interviews, we talked about making reporters more comfortable.
There was a wide variety of topics, but what it made me realize most was that other newspapers are a lot closer than ours. I assumed in other places they had staff that only met for meetings. That’s not true though. It also made me realize none of us are alone in our hatred of phone calls, the stress of deadlines and being nervous about confrontation, every journalist has something they hate. What makes us stand out is confronting those things to become more comfortable.
We also discussed how only a few percent of journalism students write for school papers. This was one of the many things I learned from fellow journalists at the ACP Best of the Midwest convention. Our burning question was “why?” and “how can we get more to write for us?”
Unfortunately, we never came up with an answer. But that did not stop us all from learning and meeting other valuable things and people and I can’t wait for the next one. In LA. Next weekend. So excited!