Jamie Rapciewicz

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Thursday, Feb. 26

Interviewing Skills to Improve Your Storytelling
Laura Widmer, associate director of ACP
Terrace C
10-10:50 a.m.

“It’s about being a good listener,” said Laura Widmer, associate director of ACP.

According to Widmer, a good interviewer is not only a good listener, but someone that can have “a purposeful conversation.” The interviewer has hard-hitting questions but still watches, listens and notes body cues.

Widmer addressed all of the issues that student journalists face while during an interview. She emphasized the importance of coming prepared and knowing the bases of your subject. If not, students often get lost in technical detail and don’t manage to get useful information that is relevant to the reader.

To prevent this, Widmer created a plan demonstrating what to do before, during and after the interview.

Before the interview:
-Be well-versed in the subject.
During the interview:
-Make small talk, take good notes (technology fails), be a good listener and watch.
Before you leave:
-Ask if they have anything to add, and get contact information.
After the interview:
-Organize your notes and write the lead.

Ten Ways to Improve Your Newspaper Design
Ron Johnson, Indiana University
Terrace D
11-11:50 a.m.

No show.

Linda Puntney, Kansas State University
Terrace B
12-12:50 p.m.

“It changes the whole atmosphere of the classroom,” said Linda Puntney on Feb. 26 at her workshop on leadership. Puntney focused on organizing, and delegating tasks as a team while maintaining leadership.

You are a team in the newsroom, therefore you work as a team to complete everything, according to Puntney. She explained that the staff should have a team that includes a writer, designer and a photographer. This makes the process more collaborative and the product more fluid.

The photographer captures who the story is about, the headline covers what, the caption captures when and where and the text tells the readers why and how everything came to be.

Putney emphasized these points because it shows cohesion when all the “pieces of the puzzle fit together.”

Friday, Feb. 27

Leadership, Image and Organizational development
Catherine Saavedra, EIC for The Saber at Columbus State
Terrance B
9-9:50 a.m.

On Feb. 27 Catherine Saavedra, editor-in-chief of the Saber, gave a speech addressing leadership.
“What defines a leader?” Saavedra asked the crowd.
“Being a role model,” an ACP attendee called out.
“Being trustworthy,” said another.
“Being willing to make the tough choices,” commented another.

None of them were wrong, according to Saavedra. Though there isn’t an exact definition of a leader, Saavedra acknowledges there are different levels of leadership.

She engaged the crowd with an activity where we had to only choose three things from our lives from 20 things that we listed as most important to us listed as objects, people, goals, memories and locations.

A person’s answers defined what type of leader they were.

She touched on key points for a leader to remember:

  1. Be Consistent.
  2. Keep your word
  3. Inspire others.
  4. Create change.
  5. Be willing to take the hits.
  6. Admit defeat.
  7. Always stay humble.

“You should always leave your organization better than when you found it,” Saavedra said.

Getting the Shot Without Getting Shot
Frank LoMonte
Terrance B
10-10:50 a.m.

Creating Cohesion With Your Staff
Kelsey Schriver, EIC for the yearbook at NW Minnesota State University
11-11:50 a.m.

Kelsey Schriver, editor-in-chief of the yearbook at Northwest Minnesota State University, delivered a speech on Feb. 27 about creating cohesion within your staff.

She suggested actions to allow the staff to bond to create a more positive work environment. She gave examples of her own staff, like sharing meals or going on retreats.

Schriver also mentioned rewarding the staff to let them know you care.

Schriver said to be consistent because it shows the staff how serious you are. When you are serious there is respect, and with respect deadlines are met.

Mythbusting Campus Secrecy
Frank LoMonte
Terrance C
1-1:50 p.m.

KEYNOTE: What David Carr Taught Me About Journalism
Brian Stelter, CNN Spokesperson
East/West Ballroom
4-5:15 p.m.

“Write with confidence, joy, passion, humor and heart,” said Brian Stelter at the ACP convention in honor of David Carr, New York Times journalist who died days before the event.

During an hour-long presentation, Brian Stelter shared his memories of Carr to motivate and provide insight into his own experiences. “He lived, he breathed and he loved journalism,” Stelter shared in remembrance of Carr, “He was the most influential media reporter of all time.”

After an emotional introduction, Stelter discussed how he became  a CNN spokesman, beginning in college with his blog, TVNewser. He was later hired onto the Times as a reporter alongside Carr.

“I worked hard kept my head down,” Stelter laughed before sharing another story about Carr.

He emphasized how important online news was in comparison to print, since 79 percent of views are from mobile devices.

“People want to watch our work,” he continued. Stelter said it’s faster and more convenient.


He reminded student journalists to be consistent and trustworthy. Only 1 in 4 Americans trust the media, so it’s our job to keep the facts straight.

“I’m a reporter first,” said Stelter. He said that it’s our job to collect the facts and present them to the public.

Stelter ended his presentation by opening the floor for questions.