SPJ DePaul at the Excellence in Journalism Conference

SPJ DePaul Exec Board Photo

SPJ DePaul’s executive board at the SPJ-RTDNA Excellence in Journalism conference. From left: Monica Kucera, Monica Carter, Ali Trumbull, Ryann Rumbaugh and Brianna Kelly.

SPJ DePaul’s executive board attended the SPJ-RTDNA Excellence in Journalism conference Sept. 20-22 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The students attended seminars on reporting, writing, broadcast, freedom of information, ethics and social media.

Besides attending the sessions, the students also interviewed several journalists and experts on the Freedom of Information Act and how journalists can overcome roadblocks for public records requests. They’re creating two videos about FOIA and will publish them on YouTube in October.

Nearly 1,000 professional journalists attended the conference. This is the third consecutive year that SPJ DePaul has attended.

Bennett: Journalism Skills Needed Virtually Everywhere

Dr. Sybril Bennett of Belmont University discussed the importance of incorporating the advancements of technology into the news industry. She stressed that the news industry needed to keep up with technology while journalism still has its credibility.

Bennett actively challenged audience members to remain positive about journalism’s future and find new ways to incorporate innovative approaches. While she pointed out that research and curation were still integral parts of reporting, the future of successful journalism also involves thinking how we can report news in creative ways. In Bennett’s words, if the field doesn’t catch up, news can become the middleman and the middleman can be cut.

During her session at the Excellence in Journalism national convention, Bennett also established three trending advancements including mobile, augmented reality, and gaming. All of these areas are quickly growing and Bennet believes it’s time for the news industry to begin experimenting with these technologies to reach audiences.

Bennett ended the lecture on a positive note, emphasizing that the industry is full of opportunity and the future of journalism is a bright and innovative one.

-Lauren Camplin, SPJ DePaul Vice President 

EIJ Convention 2011: Robert Hernandez on Rules for Writing Online and Social Media

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of summaries from the SPJ/RTDNA Excellence in Journalism conference.

Technology doesn’t replace journalism, but “empowers it,” said Robert Hernandez, a USC journalism professor, at the Excellence in Journalism convention recently in New Orleans.

Hernandez, who organizes the weekly #wjchat tech-journo Twitter chats, has five main rules that he follows when writing online and using social media.

Throughout the session, Hernandez made references that pointed out how even though social media is at our fingertips it “doesn’t replace the phone or in-person interviews.”

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SPJ DePaul Named National and Region 5 Campus Chapter of the Year

SPJ DePaul Awards Photo

Members of SPJ DePaul's executive board accept the SPJ National Campus Chapter of the Year award at the Excellence in Journalism conference awards luncheon in New Orleans on Sept. 26. (From left: Ewa Lyczewska, Nick Tarantino, Tabitha Hurley, Katie Karpowicz, Meredith Gonsalves, Lauren Camplin and Ali Trumbull. (Photo by SPJ / Nikki Villoria - NVPhotography)

NEW ORLEANS — SPJ DePaul received the Society of Professional Journalists National Campus Chapter of the Year and Region 5 Campus Chapter of the Year awards this week at the Excellence in Journalism convention at the New Orleans Sheraton Hotel.

The honors give SPJ DePaul three awards – one each at the national, regional and local levels – in its first full year of existence. In June, SPJ DePaul was named Most Outstanding Student Organization by DePaul’s Office of Student Affairs.

SPJ DePaul was selected as the top student chapter in Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky) along with 11 other regional finalists. SPJ’s Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs selects the winning national chapter from the 12 regional finalists.

The SPJ awards cover work done during the 2010-11 academic year. The awards were based on programming and events such as freedom of information, diversity community service, ethics and project watchdog (journalism education).

“DePaul presented cutting-edge programming, a successful membership recruiting campaign and strong communications within the chapter and beyond,” SPJ noted in its award announcement. Read the official SPJ press release.

Some of SPJ DePaul’s accomplishments:

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SPJ DePaul Project Watchdog Video

This video was created by SPJ DePaul student executive board members with interviews from the 2010 SPJ National Convention in Las Vegas. The purpose of the video is to help the public better understand the role of the press and the issues today’s media deal with.

Feel free to add any comments below or contact us through our @spjdepaul Twitter account. Also: Visit our YouTube channel.

SPJ Convention: Author Mark Briggs Is Optimistic About Journalism’s Future

Author Mark Briggs spoke about the direction of the future of journalism at the 2010 SPJ Convention. Despite recent negative connotations with the profession, Briggs said he is optimistic about where it’s headed.

“There is job growth in journalism,” said Briggs, who runs an online media consulting firm in Seattle and is author of the book, JournalismNext.

He told attendees how he chooses to look at journalism as a “bright flower.” Rather than focusing on the layoffs found in print media, Briggs told students and professionals to look towards growth in other platforms and outlets.

He gave various examples of start-ups that took less traditional routes, including sites such as Patch.com and Bargain Babe LA. Both sites use hyper local and niche journalism.

Briggs also discussed how journalism will eventually be in the hands of media entrepreneurs. Citing various business models, Briggs organized the trending change of journalism into four main categories: entrepreneurial, data-driven, platform-agnostic, and social.

While Briggs was optimistic about where the field is headed, he stressed that there will be some failures and journalists have to be ready to take that risk.

Visit Briggs’ site, Journalism 2.0 for more conversations about journalism.

— Lauren Camplin

Michael Koretzky’s Creative Tips for Journalism Jobs

The number of traditional newsroom jobs may be dwindling, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t dozens of new career paths in journalism sprouting up each year.

At the Society of Professional Journalists National Convention in October, Michael Koretzky spoke to journalism students and professionals about interesting outlets in which to pursue jobs.

Koretzky is a social media adviser at Florida Atlantic University and a member of the SPJ board of directors. His experience with the types of obscure journalism careers began when he founded South Florida Media Jobs, a website created to help journalism professionals in adapting to the evolving technology.

The presentation highlighted the growing similarities between journalistic and public relations writing and reporting styles. For instance, want to report on your favorite sports team?

Try looking for jobs within the team’s public relations or publicity department. He also covered the different types of freelance jobs young journalists should be looking for, contractual and one-time assignments. One-time freelance opportunities consist of just one assignment with a company, while contractual assignments have a longer time span.

For instance, a newspaper or other publication might temporarily hire journalists to cover an election or another type of ongoing news event. However, in both instances the company or publication will be sure to inform the freelancer that these are not lasting positions.

Koretzky’s presentation not only introduced me to new ideas about where to look for jobs and internships, but it helped me to feel confident about finding a career I love during a time of major change in journalism.

For More Information, Visit Koretzky’s South Florida Media Jobs Site.

— Katie Karpowicz