By Tara Puckey | August 5th, 2010
Instead of gambling the night away or finding yourself at the quickie chapel, make sure you’re around to check out some of the amazing programs geared for students at the convention in Vegas. Here’s a quick overview, but the entire schedule can be viewed on SPJ’s convention website.
How Schools and Universities Use “Privacy” Law to Thwart Legitimate News Coverage
The nation’s obsession with family privacy has been a double-edged sword. For every family shielded from unnecessary embarrassment there are countless families whose stories of struggle and misery have been obstructed by “privacy” laws that put the wall of government bureaucracy between journalist and story. This session will throw the spotlight on FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Among the most important stories journalists cover involve children and public education, which makes FERPA one of the most important laws a journalist must understand and master. Learn what FERPA really says and, most importantly, what it does NOT say.
Speakers: Frank LoMonte, executive director, Student Press Law Center; David Chartrand, journalist-author, Kansas City
Weird Careers in Journalism
If you’re about to graduate or recently have, a future in journalism may look bleak. But there are good jobs for young journalists in places you might not think to look. Learn how to apply for them and how to separate yourself from all the other applicants.
Speaker: Michael Koretzky, student media adviser, Florida Atlantic University
Covering Campus Crime
From sexual assaults to fraternity hazing, crime on college campuses is a story that college and professional media outlets struggle to cover. You’ll learn the laws governing access to crime records and how to get information from reluctant campus officials. The new edition of the Covering Campus Crime booklet will be distributed.
Speakers: Frank LoMonte, executive director, Student Press Law Center; Carolyn S. Carlson, assistant professor of journalism and citizen media, Kennesaw State University
Your Walking, Talking Resume
Get tips on making the best first impression, then create your own “elevator pitch” and practice introducing yourself to colleagues.
Facilitators: Aiesha Little, associate editor, Cincinnati Magazine; Renee Petrina, instructor, Ball State University
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The Art of Interviewing
Lots of journalists dread one thing as they prepare for a story: the interview. Unfortunately, journalism classes don’t teach reporters how to conduct a successful interview when they’re trying to “get the story.” In mock interviews, attendees will be coached on what type of questions one could and should ask during interviews. You’ll also get constructive feedback on which tactics work best so that you’ll feel at ease when interviewing someone for your next great story.
Speakers: Mary Hausch, assistant professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Bonnie Newman Davis, associate professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences
To be a great writer, you must write great sentences. But most journalists never take the time to learn what makes some sentences sing and others stink. This session will offer rare insights into this most-critical writing unit. Taking a mechanical approach to breaking down and rebuilding sentences, Casagrande will show you how to streamline your writing in a way that turns clunky, amateur prose into high-quality professional work.
Speaker: June Casagrande, author, “It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences”
The Nuts and Bolts of Freelancing
Whether you’re making a career change, looking for some extra income or simply interested in diversifying your portfolio, freelancing can be a terrific option. But it’s not as easy as submitting story ideas and waiting for the checks to roll in. Hear from a group of freelancers on what it takes to get started. From setting up a home office to printing business cards and invoicing, as well as the various options for freelancers, including traditional media outlets, blogging for pay or editing books.
Speakers: Holly Fisher, Freelance Writer/Editor; Dana Neuts, Freelancer; Bruce Shutan, Freelancer