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Four editors of the Liberty Champion learn valuable lessons at the Spring National College Media Convention
During spring break, four editors from the Liberty Champion, along with Digital Media & Communication Arts associate professor Deborah Huff, traveled to New York City and participated in the Spring National College Media Convention.
At the convention, college professors and advisors from different universities shared ideas and gave advice to aspiring journalists on a variety of topics from using social outlets and what it takes to be a writer. Huff taught two sessions that discussed covering tragedy with objectivity and local news events that happen off college campuses.
“I feel blessed to have the students that I have here at Liberty,” Huff said. “After talking with advisors from other universities, they said that they have trouble with their writers writing something other than blog content. However, here at Liberty, we have writers who want to write news and who understand what it is.”
College professors and advisors also critiqued newspapers and magazines from different colleges. The Liberty Champion sent two newspapers from the 2013 fall semester that were critiqued by Framingham State University advisor Desmond McCarthy. He gave positive feedback, complementing the professional level of photography and the variety of local stories the staff covers. However, McCarthy said he wanted the writers to challenge themselves and write stories on controversial topics that are affecting citizens today.
“Having the opportunity to sit down for a critique with Desmond McCarthy was my favorite part of the conference,” opinion editor of the Liberty Champion Gabriella Fuller said. “It was so encouraging to receive feedback and be recognized for our hard work by someone outside of Liberty.”
CBS evening news anchor Scott Pelley also spoke with students, stressing the importance to give accurate information to the public. He also stated that journalists should be cautious of their bias. Other speakers from the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated also shared their personal stories and led discussions.
“I think the speakers from the sports journalism industry were really interesting to me, because it allowed me to see what kinds of things I need to be doing in order to become a better sportswriter and get the type of job I want when I graduate,” editor-in-chief of the Liberty Champion Greg Leasure said.
The convention ended with a committee handing out Apple awards to universities who had the best newspapers, magazines and social media sites ranging from community colleges to four-year institutions.
“After seeing the competition and comparing our design and content to other schools, there is a strong possibility that we will enter the Liberty Champion into next year’s Apple Awards,” Emily Brown, a copy editor for the Liberty Champion, said. “I feel that our paper can win against any newspaper in the country.”