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.


Sandra Zitcherman

Sandra profil picture

Number 1

The Associated Collegiate Press had an interviewing workshop on Feb. 26 from 10-10:50 a.m. located in Terrace C. This workshop was presented by Assistant Director of ACP Laura Widmer. Widmer was a journalism instructor for 33 years.

The most important thing while interviewing someone, according to Widmer, is clarification. She also said it’s important to research beforehand, watch and listen to your interviewee and ask related open-ended questions. “You have to be ready for the ride,” Widmer said.

Number 2

The Associated Collegiate Press hosted a workshop on Feb. 26 from 11-11:50 a.m. located in Terrace B. Two journalism advisors from Pepperdine University Elizabeth Smith and Courtney Stall gave a entitled “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Due to the conservative nature of Pepperdine, their newspaper came out with an issue devoted to sex. “This is something we don’t really talk about at the universities but we really should,” said Stall.

This issue took Pepperdine’s news staff two years to produce, according to Stall, and raised a lot of conversation. As advice, Smith said, “Answer the questions that might add to your publication and provide [the students] with a resource.”

Number 3

“Life in the Fast Lane: Digital Journalism at CNN” was a workshop presented by CNN’s Michael Martinez. As part of the Associated Collegiate Press convention, this workshop was on Feb. 26 from noon-12:50 p.m. in Terrace D.

Martinez said “The transformation [of digital news] was huge and really really fast and social media is now the point of entry.” However, although media has changed the way people get their news, Martinez made it clear that “there’s no substitute for knowing how to tell a story.”

Number 4

A workshop about satire was presented by Dan Reimold from St. Joseph’s University was held in Terrace A from 11-11:50 a.m. on Feb. 27. Reimold said it’s important to identify your target, pick out its pressure points, recognize your angle and simply call bullshit.

However, Reimold said, “Satire should stand from something.” He made a point that satires should be kept short, labelled as satire clearly and draft history.

Number 5

“Internships! The Key to Breaking into the Business” was a workshop presented by Mt. San Antonio College’s Tammy Trujillo. This workshop was on Feb. 27 from 10-10:50 a.m in Terrace A.

Trujillo has won 16 golden mics and has a book deal. Research and persistence is the key to getting a good internship, according to Trujillo.

She also said it’s important to have a cover letter and resume. According to Trujillo, a resume should be like the table of contents and a cover letter should be like the synopsis of yourself. “It’s important to represent with your material who you are,” she said.

“You’re not getting paid in money,” said Trujillo, “but you’re working for experience so you’re not working for free.”


After David Carr’s death last month, the ACP had CNN Senior Media Correspondent and Host of “Reliable Sources” Brian Stelter dedicate a speech to what Carr taught him. The speech was held on Feb. 27 from 4-5:15 p.m.

“[David Carr] was the most influential news reporter of our time,” said Stelter. “There are David Carrs out there who want to teach you and want to learn from you.”

According to Stelter, “If he was still figuring it out, we’re all figuring it out.” Stelter made it clear that when he worked in the New York Times that he was a reporter first. “It’s the most important job we have.”

Stelter said the secret to his success was focus.


Steven Cooper

steven's profile picture

What: “Free Tools to Increase Your Social Media Following”

Who: Andy Dehnart, adviser for Stetson University’s student newspaper, publisher of realityblurred.com and contributor to NPR, The Daily Beast, msnbc.com and others.

Where: Terrace D

When: Thursday, 9-9:50 a.m.


Dehnart’s presentation focused on free websites and applications that help create ideas for content, assist your writing, edit your work, post at the right time and analyze your audience.

Dehnart said tools like latest.is allow you to see the latest trending Twitter links while topsy.com acts like a search engine for social treds in Twitter. Using these tools to keep up on recent trends allows you to create relevant content. When you’re writing, noiz.io and coffitivity.com provide background noise to help you concentrate. The website writtenkitten.net rewards you with kitten pictures the more you write. After writing your content, Dehnart recommended using afterthedeadline.com and hemingwayapp.com to edit your content. Both tools provide advanced spelling and grammar checks, but Hemingway takes it a step further. It spots hard-to-read sentences, counts uses of passive voice and highlights adverbs that should be replaced with strong verbs.

Dehnart also discussed tools for publishing rather than writing. Tools like bufferapp.com, everpost.me and tweriod.com allow you to schedule posts, post across multiple social media platforms, and determine your audience’s peak hours. “My audience is really active from 8-midnight because they’re TV-watchers and on their phones because they don’t have lives,” Dehnart said.


“Reward yourself for writing with kitten pictures at writtenkitten.net. Helpful advice from journalist & social media guru Andy Dehnart. #Indy2015ACP”

“Excited to follow Andy Dehnart’s advice and start using hemingwayapp.com. This thing puts spell-check in the dark ages. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “Getting the Shot Without Getting Shot”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace B

When: Thursday, 10-10:50 a.m.


LoMonte gave an overview of laws protecting photojournalists from police and campus security and provided tips to help interactions with police go well. LoMonte’s biggest point was that the “right to privacy” does not exist in the form many people think. “It’s not an invasion of privacy to take pictures of people in public, and that includes kids,” LoMonte said. LoMonte said he uses the “drop your pants” rule to determine what would be an invasion of privacy legally. “Any place you would consider dropping your pants would be an invasion of privacy,” LoMonte said. That rule means that even on private property like a hotel or business, taking photographs is not legally an invasion of privacy. You can still be arrested or sued for trespassing, defying a police officer’s lawful order or obstructing traffic, LoMonte clarified.

Even if everything you are doing is completely legal you may come across police officers who either don’t know the law or are abusive, sad LoMonte. These situations can result in police unlawfully taking your camera and photos and in extreme cases your arrest. LoMonte gave several tips to help defuse these tense situations. Wear a press ID when taking photos. If police do demand you aren’t legally obligated to do, ask lots of questions. “It’s the best way to argue with someone–just ask questions.” You should also tell the officer that you’ll get in huge trouble with your editor if you don’t return with photos. That can help the officer relate to you. “Cop’s hate their bosses too,” LoMonte said. Before leaving, always let your editor know when and where you are going. You should also have quarters to use a pay phone if the police take your cellphone.


“Taking photos anywhere short of where you would consider dropping your pants is not an invasion of privacy says Frank LoMonte. #Indy2015ACP”

“‘Cop’s hate their bosses too,’ Tell the police you’ll get in trouble with your editor if you don’t get photos. Helpful advice from Frank Lomonte. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “Mythbusting Campus Secrecy”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace C

When: Thursday 1-1:50 p.m.


LoMonte discussed what information is and isn’t subject to disclosure under laws and how to get information that is protected. Many student records are protected under Federal Educational and Privacy Act. However, some records are not. For example, any student records that lack personally identifiable information such as names are not covered by FERPA, LoMonte said. In a court case that LoMonte worked on, officials established that traffic tickets are also not covered by FERPA because they were being left face-up on car windshields. This example shows that the college can’t claim FERPA protection if they aren’t treating the information like confidential student records.

In order to get information that is protected by FERPA, there are several workarounds. For example, if you want access to a disciplinary hearing and can get the defending person to sign a waiver, you can’t be denied access. You can also request other non-protected documents like faculty emails to get information.

One place to get good information for stories is college crime logs. According to the Cleary Act all colleges participating in federal financial aid programs must maintain a crime log for immediate release of the last 60 days with no more than the last three days not updated. Information older than 60 days must be made available after no more than two business days.


“FERPA doesn’t cover parking tickets left face-up on windshields says Frank LoMonte. Good advice on what records your college is required to provide. #Indy2015ACP”

“Cleary Act states that every college must maintain a crime log for immediate release. Frank LoMonte has good advice on how to get the inside scoop. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “Digital Dilemma: Four Things You Need to Know”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday, 2-2:50 p.m.


LoMonte discussed multiple legal dilemmas related to online publishing. The first topic LoMonte clarified is that you are not legally obligated to take down true information when someone contacts you with a “take-down request.” Even in the case of libel, after about 3 years have passed you are not legally accountable for the content or required to take it down. LoMonte said some people have misconception that special rules apply to online content. “Anything that is legal to put in a print edition is legal to put in an online edition,” he said.

Copyright is different, said LoMonte. LoMonte’s main focus on copyright was in the context of someone else stealing your news publication’s content. One suggestion is to send a bill to the offender stating the use of your content costs money. LoMonte said many people will pay the bill. The other option is to issue a DMCA takedown notice. Even if you can’t figure out how to contact the offender (common with the anonymity on the internet), you can issue the notice to the hosting organization like GoDaddy. LoMonte also gave guidelines to clarify what isn’t protected by copyright. For example, Tweets on Twitter probably aren’t protected by copyright because they don’t possess unique insights or creations like a news article or book. But even if the Tweet was protected by copyright, you can still publish it. “It’s perfectly okay to re-publish copyrighted material for the purpose of commenting on it,” Lomonte said.


“Anything that is legal to put in a print edition is legal to put in an online edition.” Frank Lomonte does an excellent job at dispelling myths. #Indy2015ACP

“This Tweet is probably not protected by copyright. Even if it were, anyone can republish to comment on it… Good advice from Frank LoMonte. #Indy2015ACP”

What: “(Word) Press Freedom”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday, 3-3:50 p.m.


LoMonte said that in many parts of the country, legal president says student newspapers are not protected free speech. Most of this is the result of the 1988 Supreme Court case Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, which ruled that that high schools have the right to control the content of student newspapers that have not been established as forum for student expression. LoMonte said subsequent rulings applied Hazelwood to all colleges and universities because the supreme court case only specified “students.” “Nobody would have thought a judge would be crazy enough to apply Hazelwood to college students,” LoMonte said. Some states have since passed laws that protect the rights of student journalists. Strangely enough, Iowa passed a protective law, but it only protects high school journalists because they didn’t think the ruling applied to colleges.

LoMonte listed several recent court cases in different states on this issue including Tatro v. University of Minnesota and Keefe v. Adams et al. LoMonte concluded that there are still significant legal reforms that need to be made and student journalists need to be vocal about their rights.


“Overturn Hazelwood! Frank LoMonte is explaining the ramifications to student journalists from the 26-year-old Supreme Court Case. #Indy2015ACP”

“Iowa protects high school journalists but not college journalists. Frank LoMonte is exposing the lack of free speech protection for many student journalists. #Indy2015ACP”

Other Workshops Attended

“Video and Multimedia on a Shoestring Budget” presented by Leslie Blood, an assistant professor at Fort Lewis College along with staff from the Fort Lewis newsroom.

“Taking the Pulse of Your College Student Body” presented by Tra Friesen, Diana Aristizabal and me (Steven Cooper).

Keynote Speech by Brian Stelter

Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” spoke to hundreds of college journalism students Feb. 27 about what New York Times’s David Carr taught him.

Stelter’s keynote speech at the 31st Annual ACP National Journalism Convention in Universal City, California was supposed to be given by Carr. Stelter stepped in a short notice after Carr died on Feb. 12.

From 2007-2013, Stelter worked with Carr at the New York Times. Stelter said Carr was a father figure to him and taught him much about how to succeed in journalism.

The main lesson Carr taught him was to put all your effort into writing and improving, Stelter said. “He taught me to write with every muscle of my body.”

Working hard when he first joined the New York Times is part of what caused Carr to notice him, Stelter said. “Through the act of putting my head down and working really hard, I was able to gain the respect of my editors and people like David Carr.”

Stelter said several characteristics set Carr apart from others.

Carr’s open-mindedness was one such characteristic. It was “one of the most important things about him,” Stelter said. According to Stelter, the takeaway is to be open-minded to new stories and always report without personal bias. “If we’re reporter first, that’s the most important thing we can hold on to—the most important badge we can wear,” he said.

The takeaway, Stelter said, is to keep on producing content with a view of what the future holds.

Stelter pointed out that 79 percent of views on social media phenomenon “the dress” were from mobile devices. “Think about where we’re going,” he said.

Stetler concluded with a quote from Carr. “The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but knocking them down.”


Drew Telegin


Sarah Cavanah, an employee of the Associated Collegiate Press, held the typography workshop. She explained what typography was and the basic “unspoken” rules of what it is. Papers should think carefully when picking their fonts. It is important to use opentype fonts and to make sure your fonts convey the type of message you want to give. The height, roundness of arks and humps all say a subliminal message.

Tweet: “At the typography workshop I picked up a new favorite font! Baskerville.”

Tweet: “Fonts can speak louder than words.”


The Key to Breaking into the Business was a fervent workshop that introduced hungry journalism students to the information that would lead them to a finding an internship. Tammy Trujillo spoke to a crowd of over 50 students on how to build a resume and handle the acceptance process. I learned that you should organize your resume in order to show why you should be picked for the internship.

Tweet: “Tammy inspired me to restructure my resume at #ACP2015”

Tweet: “The market for internships is an aggressive one and I have to be assertive to get one.”

Tomorrow is Here

Breaking into the new world of mobile applications was the goal of this workshop. Alison Moran presented her app, Rivet City Radio. She went on to discuss how her app worked and how apps are relevant to our modern era of journalism. This workshop did feel like a plug or endorsement for her Rivet City app but it gave me some insight into what it is like to build and or run an app.

Tweet: “Rivet City Radio gives me news I genuinely care about rather than what bores me on T.V.”

Tweet: “I can listen to Rivet City on the go and make driving more enjoyable.”

You Say You Want A Revolution?

Charlie Weaver was the inspirational speaker at this workshop. He was able to shed light on what it was like discontinuing his paper edition at University of Oregon. In his speech, he discussed how his news publication was finding ways to make sure their content was being read. I picked up his contact along with a great sense of how staying modern and utilizing the tools we have to build a greater paper.

Tweet: “@charlieweaver has already started his revolution. Time for me to start mine.”

Tweet: “My community needs to be as focused as my content!”

Relevance. The Overlooked Buzz Word

This was my favorite workshop. Charlie Weaver was the speaker and he did an amazing job at discussing how we can integrate the tools of modern social media and entertainment into our new programs. Many people think social media is killing journalism and Weaver showed us how he was modeling elements of his paper to cater to these trends and use them for maximum effectiveness with today’s youth.

Tweet: “Emerald City New Publication has released their series stories much like Netflix does their T.V. series to attract readers.”

Tweet: “Integrating tweets and instagram pictures of my stories really adds more depth and attracts readers.”

Keynote Brief

Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and keynote speaker at the ACP Journalism Convention, shared what David Carr taught him Feb. 27.

From 2007-2013, Stelter worked with Carr at the New York Times as reporters.

Stelter said that Carr was not only someone who was always good for a laugh, but also filled a fatherly role when Stelter’s father died.

“David was always the funniest guy in the room,” Stelter said. “He was funnier sober than the rest of us drunk.”

While at the Times, Stelter said that he learned that quantity can sometimes lead to quality.

When Carr died, Stelter said he not only lost a great colleague and mentor, but a friend.

Kailan Manandic

Kailan profile picture

Workshop 1: Interview skills

This workshop was very informative and started with how to make an interview a conversation and not an interrogation. The presenter talked about the advantages and disadvantages with in-person, phone and email interviews. In summary, it was everything I learned in Journalism 101.

Workshop 2: Dignity and Photojournalism

This workshop showcased two photo projects by a photojournalist for the LA times. Before showing these works, the presenter talked about the dying occupation of photojournalism and the struggles she experienced in the field. She talked about her work in Africa for her photo project on poverty, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The workshop focused more on her work in Africa than the job of photojournalism which I had intended to learn about.

Workshop 3: Get Shot Without Getting Shot

This workshop began with a video of an altercation between a student journalist attempting to film and a police officer attempting to get him to turn it off. The presenter pointed out that the student argued with the officer in the best possible way. He refrained from shouting, just kept asking questions and notified his superiors that he was in a conflict with the police. Another thing the presenter pointed out was that the student never stopped filming. After this the presenter talked about the right to photograph. We have a right to photograph anywhere that is public and the police are not allowed to delete our photos or videos on the spot. The only exception is if you’re using the photos for commercial purposes, in which case you need permission from anyone identifiable in the photo. Under any other circumstances, no one in the photo has a basis to take legal action unless the photos are published in a way that is harmful to their reputation. The cops cannot force you to delete your pictures under the Privacy Protection Act. They cannot search through anything you have that is storing information on a story (journalistic info) without going through a court hearing which you are allowed to attend. The presenter conclude by giving a website that provides legal assistance to journalists.

Workshop 4: Video and Multimedia on a Shoestring Budget

This was a workshop presented by student journalists from Lewis College’s broadcast news program. They gave examples of several budgets from $0 to $10,000 using a point-and-shoot camera to a studio-style switchboard.

Workshop 5: Taking the Pulse of Your College Student Body

This workshop was hosted by four Independent staff members from Clark College. They explained polling your student body. They talked about how to put together the poll data through graphic designs. They took a live poll of the packed crowd. The topic was puppies vs. kittens.  The crowd let out a hardy laugh and eagerly took out their smartphones, ready to voice their thoughts on the matter. The small room allowed about 50 seats, most of them filled. It ended with a question and answer period.


CNN’s Brian Stelter filled in as keynote speaker for David Carr, who died days earlier, at this year’s ACP college journalism conference in L.A.

He used his speech to commemorate Carr’s life and encourage students. “David was always the funniest guy in the room,” Stelter said. ”He was funnier sober than the rest of us drunk.”

Stelter spoke about his own origins in social media. “Quantity can sometimes lead to quality,” he said.

Stelter told journalists to continue producing work. “If David would have wanted you to leave here knowing anything, it would have been to stay passionate about your work,” He said.

What: “Typography Basics”

Who: Sarah Cavanah, Associated Collegiate Press

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday 10-10:50 a.m.


Sarah Cavanah was exactly what I want from a presenter in a workshop like this. Recognizing that the attendance for her workshop was low, she adjusted and turned it into more of a structured Q&A for all things design, focusing on typography. I got to ask her direct questions about our publication, including questions about the number of columns and photo placements. She advised to always have an odd number of columns on each page and to make sure at least four regular sized words could span the length of a text box.

Cavanah covered the different vocabulary associated with type. For example, the difference between typeface and font is that font refers to a specific subset of typeface. Times New Roman is a typeface; Times New Roman Bold is a font.

I learned that Baskerville is a pretty cool typeface. Cavanah also taught that the older typefaces are generally the most trustworthy since they have been around for far longer and have had a chance to adapt and have stood the test of time.

What: “What Your Are Not Being Told”

Who: Amos Gelb, Washington Media Institute.

Where: Terrace C

When: Thursday 12-12:50 p.m.


Not going to lie, I went to this workshop to see what kind of person misspells the title to their own lecture. Well, Amos Gelb does.

Gelb taught about the employment market for journalism students after their graduation. He made a point to tell his audience that 80 percent—and “probably even more”—of them would not become journalists. He said that although journalism on a traditional daily style paper may not be for most people, a career in media is still applicable.

Gelb used real life experiences from his career to inform the audience the skills that employers are looking for. He also pitched his institution, the Washington Media Institute, encouraging everyone to sign up.


Even though the journalism skills learned in college might not directly apply to a career in journalism, they are very applicable skills for other jobs.

What: “Mythbusting Campus Secrecy”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace C

When: Thursday 1-1:50 p.m.


What: “(Word) Press Freedom”

Who: Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday, 3-3:50 p.m.


Most of this workshop was about the ramifications of the 1988 case Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. It ruled that high schools have the right to control the content of student newspapers. Then, later on, a court applied the Hazelwood case to college news publications, which is very concerning. There are states, like Washington, that have passed laws to protect student journalists.


What: “Taking the Pulse of Your Student Body”

Who: Staff of the Independent, “Clark University”

Where: Terrace A

When: Thursday 10-10:50 a.m.


Clark College Independent staff members lectured about the value of online student polling. They covered the ins and outs of polling using google drive, what stories to include polls in and how to visually represent the poll you conduct.

Other Workshops Attended:

Keynote: What David Carr Taught Me About Journalism, Brian Stelter, CNN

Life in the Fast Lane: Digital Journalism at CNN, Michael Martinez, CNN


Michael Ceron

Michael's profile picture

Interviewing Skills to Improve Your Storytelling
Laura Widmer, Associate Director of Associated Collegiate Press
Terrace C
10 a.m. Feb. 26

The interviewing workshop helped journalism students brush up on interviewing skills. Widmer stated that any good story starts at a strong interview.  She began her workshop by giving students tips on interview preparation, such as familiarizing yourself with background information. She talked about the forms of interviews, including face-to-face, phone and email interviews.  In Widmer’s own words, “Interviewing someone by email is somewhere a little above when hell freezes over.”

During the interview, Widmer suggested dressing to the subject.  She said that you should list your questions in a logical order so they “flow.”  A journalist should always start with housekeeping questions (how to spell your name, job titles, etc.) before moving on to harder hitting questions.  This technique helps put the interviewee at ease.  Always clarify if you do not understand answers and be willing to rephrase your question Widmer said it is important to pay attention to mannerisms and surrounding.  At the end of an interview, make sure that you have contact information for follow-up questions.  If you can, give the subject an idea of when they can expect the story to run.  After the interview, try to write as soon as possible, when the information is still fresh.


Knocked out my first workshop on interviewing skills.  Always good to brush up on the basics #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Save the hard-hitting questions for last.  NO ONE likes to be blindsided.  #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Life in the Fast Lane: Digital Journalism at CNN
Michael Martinez, Editor CNN Los Angeles Bureau
Terrace A
Noon Feb. 26

During his presentation, Michael Martinez focused on the shift of journalism from print to digital.  He spoke about his collaboration with journalists from around the world to write online stories for CNN.  Martinez spoke about how his life has changed since going from print to digital.  Where he used to spend a few days on a story, he now focuses on getting out whatever information he has as fast as possible and updating the story as he gains more insight.

Martinez mentioned the importance of social media as a journalist.  Explaining that the majority of people now reach the CNN online stories through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, Martinez stressed the importance of marketing your stories online to gain readership. Part of journalism is now being able to market yourself and your writing.


Just wanted to say thank you to @MMartinezCNN for the great workshop.  I learned a lot! #indy2015ACP #CNN

The new frontier of journalism is digital, and everyone has a chance to make a difference. #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Keynote: A Conversation with Rory Kennedy
Rory Kennedy, documentary filmmaker, President Moxie Firecracker Films
East/West Ballroom
2 p.m. Feb. 26

Rory Kennedy hosted a Q&A session during her keynote presentation at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the 31st Annual ACP National Journalism Convention. She discussed the process and the struggles that she faced while making her Academy Award nominated film, “Last Days in Vietnam.” She spoke about the stories that she discovered while researching the film and the humanity that she wanted to portray during those last days.  Kennedy discussed the importance of the newer generations studying the Vietnam conflict.  She said that you can apply the same lessons to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During the Q&A, Kennedy explained her journey to become a documentarian and the struggles that she faced.  She had help from others during the making of her first film on mothers addicted to cocaine. Even though she had no formal training as a filmmaker, she had help from others for financing and mentoring. She said it is important for prospective filmmakers to go out and just make films.  Thanks to Youtube, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sources, it is easier than ever for a prospective filmmaker to realize their vision.  The most important thing, according to Kennedy, is to be passionate about your subject, and to investigate as much as you can to find the human element in any story.


Following your passion into the unknown is never easy.  But the rewards are amazing #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

“Last Days of Vietnam” prove that you can find humanity in the worst of circumstances #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Student Press Satire
Dan Reimold, Saint Joseph’s University
Terrace A
11 a.m. Feb. 27

Dan Reimold’s objective throughout the Student Press Satire presentation was to make the attendee’s laugh.  He succeeded.  Opening with headlines from popular satire publications, Reimold explained the process to successfully publishing a satire.  He explained this through the process that he called “Four Steps To Being Funny.”

The first step is to identify your target. Reimold explained that like any other story, significance and timeliness are a factor. What is the significance of the story and who is your audience?  How recent is the story? Will people remember it?  The next step was to pick out pressure points, Reimold said. He said that you need to find the points to poke fun at. There are obvious points of attack that you can use, but you also need to dig deeper to find other avenues that are possibly overlooked by others. This led to finding your individual angle for the story.  Reimold pointed out to find your story’s vantage point and to convey that to the readers. Don’t be afraid to poke fun at yourself, Reimold said.


“Kitten Thinks of Nothing But Murder All Day” great way to get my attention at the satire workshop #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Anything, even the most hateful horrendous thing, can be made fun of.  #indy2015ACP #ACP2LA

How to Handle Breaking News
Erica Perel, The Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina
Producer Room
3 p.m. Feb. 27

Erica Perel of the Daily Tar Heel spoke about handling breaking news.  She said that the most important thing is communication. It is a good idea to have a plan in place for breaking news situations.  This includes having one person on the breaking news team act as “hub,” running the situation in the newsroom. This helps to keep everything running smoothly.

Another thing to keep in mind is logistics,  like the numbers of copies needed for distribution.  Is the story big enough for more copies? You also need to think about social media and online interactions.  If you are updating the story online, make sure that there is one URL for the story.  Hyperlink to other stories that are related. Disable any scheduled social media posts that do not relate to the story.  Be transparent about information changes and make sure that your readership has the most up-to-date information possible.  All these things can help any newsroom cover breaking news efficiently.


The idea of handling breaking news can be scary, but it pays to be prepared.  #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

“Communication is key during any breaking news story. It is important that everyone work together.” #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Keynote: What David Carr Taught Me About Journalism
Brian Stelter, CNN “Reliable Sources”
East/West Ballroom
4 p.m. Feb. 27

“I want to start by saying the obvious, which is I wish I wasn’t up here.”

Brian Stelter opened his keynote speech at the ACP annual conference with a note of sadness.

Stelter, the host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” stepped in to be the keynote speaker after his mentor David Carr died in the New York Times newsroom days before the event.

Stelter emphasized the effect that Carr had on his career while they worked at the Times together.

Stelter shared his own wisdom and encouragement to the packed room of journalists.

“Sometimes, quantity can get you to quality,” Stelter said.  The more you write, the better you will get.

Stelter discussed the importance of transparency in journalism to build the public’s trust.  He talked about Brian Williams, the anchor for NBC’s Nightly News, and Bill O’Reilly, the host of Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Stelter said that social media plays into this transparency.  By reaching out to people through social media, Stelter said that journalists can either gain or lose the American people’s trust every day.

Closing with a quote from a 2009 column written by Carr for the Times, Stelter emphasized the importance of the next generation of journalists.

“The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down.”


@brianstelter began his keynote with a touching tribute to @carr2n a reminder to all of what we lost with his passing #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

“Sometimes, quantity can get you to quality.” Wise albeit unconventional words from @brianstelter #ACP2LA #indy2015ACP

Other Workshops Attended

Cronkite Sports Panel
Tom Feuer, Joshua Frons and Lucas Robbins, Cronkite News’ Los Angeles Sports Bureau
Terrace D
10 a.m. Feb. 27

Taking the Pulse of Your Student Body
Tra Friesen, Steven Cooper, Diana Aristizabal, The Independent, Clark College
Terrace A
10 a.m. Feb. 28

Tori Benavente


Tori profile picture

Interviewing and News Gathering Tips
Laura Widmer
Associated Collegiate Press
Terrace C
Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.
Let’s Talk About Sex
Elizabeth Smith and Courtenay Stallings
Pepperdine University
Terrace B
Feb. 26 at 11 a.m.
Linda Putney
Kansas State University
Terrace B
Feb. 26 at noon

Sex, on a Deadline: Covering Campus Love, Lust, and Every Kink in Between.
Dan Reimold
St. Josephs University
Terrace A
Feb. 27 at 9 a.m.

Dan Reimold informed students on how to report on sex and what to expect when writing about the topic. Sex columns are “the most popular features, if publications run them,” said Reimold. He advised students to find their voice when talking about sex. There are multipletypes of sex columns, including: Q&A, confessional, commentary and news.

Reimold pointed out that you don’t have to label them as sex columns. Reimold said that students are mostly producing social, party scene and sex columns. “Student journalists are leading the way to being more frank with sex,” said Reimold. Some publications have produced entire issues about sex, which was unheard of 4-5 years ago, said Reimold.

There are sex topics that are more controversial than others, according to Reimold. He reminded students to be mindful of images and timing of the article.

Internships! The Key to Breaking into the Business.
Tammy Trujillo
Mt. San Antonio College
Terrace A
Feb. 27 at 10 a.m.

Tammy Trujillo is a broadcaster, radio host, leader of an internship program and winner of 16 Golden Mike Awards, which are given to outstanding broadcast journalists. Trujillo stressed the importance of internships and provided tips to obtain them. Trujillo first identified the problem that most students have with internships: not getting paid. “You’re not working for free, you’re not getting paid in money, but you’re working for experience,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo said that applications should not be submitted online because there is no way to differentiate oneself from the rest of the applications. However, if applying online is the only option, Trujillo suggests calling the company. “Be bold. Do not follow the herd,” said Trujillo. He suggested that applicants use a cover letter as a synopsis of a book about yourself and a resume as a list of things about you, not your whole story. In resumes, highlight job experience, skill sets and awards related to your career.

Student Press Satire
Dan Reimold
St. Joseph’s University
Terrace A
Feb. 27 at 11 a.m.

Dan Reimold presented a workshop on how to incorporate satire in student journalism. “Headlines should be both serious and silly,” said Reimold. He showed the audience examples of headlines from theonion.com, a satire news website. Reimold advised the audience to identify their target, pick out it’s pressure points and recognize your angle. “Satire should stand for something, there should be a point to what you’re saying,” said Reimold. He encouraged students to keep satire it short, label it clearly, make fun of yourself and go beyond funny headlines.

Writing to be Read
Jennifer Burger
California State University, Bakersfield
Terrace B
Feb. 27 at noon

Jennifer Burger held a workshop on how to structure news stories. Burger identified the three S’s of good writing: story, structure and style. She presented the audience with questions to ask when finding the “story within your story.”

Burger told the group to plan their stories from the top down, in this order: headline, lead, nut graph, quotes, key details and endings. Endings are now a focus in journalism. “We are writing for the web now, paper second, so the endings are very important,” said Burger. She had the audience think about stories they had recently written or are working on and write a headline, lead and nut graph. Burger explained the importance of each part of the story prior to them writing. The lead of the story was a major topic. Burger encouraged students to pick a lead that best fit their story and will hook the reader, introducing the main characters early. “Readers identify with people,” said Burger.

Leadership and Change
Lilyan Levant
Illini Media
Terrace A
Feb. 28 at 9 a.m.

Lilyan Levant, publisher and general manager of Illini Media Company, presented a powerpoint that focused on becoming a successful business leader.

Levant stressed that leaders—especially in journalism—need to be open to change. “The new market is the media and it’s replacing the print market,” Levant said. She encouraged the audience to “build a legacy,” challenge the norms and support change.

“Lead how you want to be led,” Levant said. A leader should create a sustainable business model, their strategy and a vision for the organization.

Levant said that leaders have to know what the readers want, and in most cases that is autonomy, mastery and purpose.

Key Note

CNN reporter Brian Stelter filled in as a keynote speaker for David Carr at the ACP National College Journalism Convention on Feb. 27 after Carr’s death days before the event.

Carr collapsed in the New York Times newsroom and died on Feb. 12.

Stelter used the opportunity to honor his “father figure” by sharing what Carr taught him.

Stelter encouraged students to write as much as they can and figure out their passion. The speaker advised the students to submerge themselves in the real world and gain experience. “The world isn’t waiting for you,” said Stelter.

He spoke about working with Carr at the Times and how it helped him improve his writing. “Quantity got me to quality,” he said.

Stelter spoke about Carr’s passion for reporting. Carr taught him to remember that he is a reporter first and that’s his number one job.

Stelter was a student at the ACP convention less than 10 years ago. He was listed under Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list for media.

Stelter hosts CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Stelter moved to CNN from the Times in 2013.