Zach McMahon

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Summary one

On Friday at 10 a.m. in Terrace B,  Frank LoMonte lead a discussion on how to lawfully comply with police orders while also filming the police in an open public space. LoMonte is the executive director of the Student Press Law Center.  A public space is considered any area—indoor or outdoor—that can be accessed by the public. LoMonte said he defines a public place with the drop your pants rule: if you feel comfortable taking your pants off, then its not public.  While it is against the law to disobey a police order, if the police officer asks you to put away your camera you can say no. LoMonte reassured that the best way to disarm a confrontation with the police was to “ask questions rather than argue.”


LoMonte also had some tips for covering events that might involve the police. He was adamant to make sure someone in the newsroom knows where you are going and get the name and agency of the police officer. Lastly, it is a protected right to film any public police action under the ruling of Click v. Cuniffe in which a bystander who was filming with a smartphone was charged with wiretapping. The courts ruled that its established in the first amendment to film police activities in public.

Tweet one : @FrankLoMonte telling you how to get the shot without getting shot #indy2015acp

Tweet two : @FrankLoMonte “Ask questions rather than argue.” with police #indy2015acp

Summary two

The Director of the Student Press Law Center Frank LoMonte presented a seminar titled “(Word)press Freedom” in Terrace A on Friday at 3 p.m. LoMonte started with a definition of what the first amendment is and how it only applies to the government taking away your free speech.  He continued with saying that if you attend a public institution you have really wide first amendment protection.

LoMonte continued citing cases where schools tried to censor speech. One of the cases LoMonte cited was Tatro v. University of Minnesota, in which a student was expelled for comments made on a social networking site. He urged everyone to go to and get behind social media laws.

Tweet one: @FrankLoMonte schools censor free speech who would have thought #indy2015 acp

Tweet two:  @FrankLoMonte #indy2015acp

Summary three

In Terrace B, Leslie Blood, the advisor from Fort Lewis College, led a presentation on “Video and Multimedia on a Shoestring Budget.” The presentation started at 11 a.m. on Friday.  The presentation covered how to video program with three different budgets.

The three different budgets did not suggest applications for internal and external grants, asking community resources for equipment, and trying to partner with with other media departments.  The second budget was low at $500. In this budget, the goal was to buy a digital camera, a hand-held microphone and a memory card. The last budget was $3,000 to $5,000. For this budget, Blood  recommended multiple cameras, desk chairs and a green screen for studio shots. If you can afford it, getting a tricaster will cut down on the post-production time.

Tweet one: Video and Multimedia on a Shoestring Budget time to learn #indy2015 acp

Tweet two: time to apply for some grants #indy2015 acp

Summary four

Francine Orr is a Los Angeles Times photojournalist and presented a session on Dignity and Photojournalism in Terrace C at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Orr started by saying that photojournalism is a way to tell a story without words. She said that in the modern journalist world, the photojournalist is required to do more than just take photos; they have to write, conduct research and take video. She said, “As a journalist you are going to struggle, and struggle is a good thing.”  She said the only difference between a successful journalist and a non-successful one is determination.

Or spent the second half of her workshop showing two of her projects for the L.A. Times.  The first project was “Living on Pennies,”  in which she traveled to Africa to find and photograph people living in poverty.  The second project Orr shared was titled “Autism.” This project depicted the daily lives of families with children with autism.

Tweet one: inspiring to see the long-form photos of @francineorr #indy2015 acp

Tweet two: @francineorr showed what its like to be a photojournalist in this age #indy2015 acp

Summary Five

Associate Director of the Associated Collegiate Press Laura Widmer presented a workshop on Interviewing at 10 a.m on Friday in Terrace C. Widmer started with some tips on what to do in the middle of an interview.  She said listen and watch closely, familiarize yourself with the story, be a good listener, and focus on open-ended questions.

She shifted the conversation during the last half of the session to what to do to get good quotes. Widmer said to let the subject talk and to also listen for what isn’t said. She said, “The good listener hears good quotes.”

Tweet one: i remember this stuff from j101 #indy2015 acp

Tweet two: ”The good listener hears good quotes.”  #indy2015 acp


Brian Stelter paid homage to David Carr, New York Times editor who died on Feb. 12. in his keynote speech.

Carr was a friend and mentor of Stelter, who is now the host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Stelter started the speech by saying that he shouldn’t be here and Carr should be giving this speech.

“David was always the funniest guy in the room,” said Stelter.  Stelter added all the lessons that Carr had taught him about journalism, from embracing Twitter early on to a opening an iPad for the first time. Stelter said that Carr taught him to just continue to work and that,  “Quantity can sometimes lead to quality.”  If you continue to work and turn out stories you will understand how to write a great story.

Stelter shared his college experience when he started his blog and when he first began to working on the Times. He shared the lessons that Carr had taught him every step of the way.

Stelter advised the crowd to just start writing about what we are passionate about.

Before moving onto the Q&A session, Stelter ended, “If David would have wanted you to leave here knowing anything, it would have been to stay passionate about your work.”