Posts Tagged ‘mark of excellence awards’


Region 7 journalists head to Omaha for professional development

Journalists from across the region traveled to Omaha March 27-28 for the 2015 Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 Spring Conference.

Journalists from across the region traveled to Omaha March 27-28 for the 2015 Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 Spring Conference.

The Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 2015 Spring Conference came to a close Saturday at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Journalists from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska made the trek to Omaha for a weekend of professional development. Organizers held conference sessions about social media, digital, work/family balance and more.

Journalists Mariah Stewart, John Beaudoin, Chase Snider and Ashley Jost discussed their coverage of the protests and police action in Ferguson, Mo. during the SPJ Region 7 conference's keynote presentation.

Journalists Mariah Stewart, John Beaudoin, Chase Snider and Ashley Jost discussed their coverage of the protests and police action in Ferguson, Mo. during the SPJ Region 7 conference’s keynote presentation.

Rob McLean, region 7 director for SPJ, said those who attended the conference had an opportunity to network with colleagues and get a leg-up on their next job hunt.

“One of the best parts about being an SPJ member is the opportunity to make new journalism connections and friends,” McLean said. “As the industry continues to change, those connections can be invaluable when journalists are looking for their next gig.”

The event ended with the regional Mark of Excellence Awards Saturday afternoon, where SPJ recognized the best journalism at the collegiate level within the region.

 

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Journalists enjoy conversation at the SPJ Region 7 Spring Conference meet-and-greet March 27.

Marjorie Sturgeon and Jonathan Garcia served on a panel, moderated by Sherrie Wilson, about digital in the newsroom.

Marjorie Sturgeon and Jonathan Garcia served on a panel, moderated by Sherrie Wilson (right), about digital in the newsroom.

Convergence is the word at Region 7 conference

 

Convergence journalists at JCCC

Student backpack journalists at JCCC prepare to cover the day’s events at the Region 7 Spring Conference.

For three years, Johnson County Community College asked to host the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 7 Spring Conference, and when the moment arrived the 20,000-student campus in Overland Park, Kansas, delivered a grand performance.

JCCC is among the leading higher education institutions in the region on convergence journalism. The school placed its print, TV, and radio journalism components under one roof in 2012, and has used the word “convergence” in almost every discussion about media since. Consequently, convergence dominated the day.

Among the highlights, co-organizer Molly Baumgardner, JCCC’s journalism coordinator, started off with a presentation on good taste in journalism, explaining how the Seven Deadly Sins can kill a career before it starts. Sara Smith of The Kansas City Star reinforced the need for the three R’s — research, research, and more research — in writing entertainment reviews. And Maj. Bill Hisle of the Shawnee (Kan.) Police Department revealed the secret to dealing with public information officers.

Johnson County Community College is just a few blocks from the site of the 2011 Region 7 Spring Conference in Overland Park, Kansas.

Johnson County Community College is just a few blocks from the site of the 2011 Region 7 Spring Conference in Overland Park, Kansas. (David Sheets)

Other presenters included Mary Schulte, a photo editor at The Star, and Susan McSpadden, chief photographer for JCCC’s media relations department, explaining how wordsmiths can acquire the wisdom to become visual storytellers; and former Wichita Star reporters Dan Close and Laura Kelly recounting how the BTK serial killings changed their lives and their approach to journalism.

Maria Antonia, communications director for the Kansas City-based Bishop Sullivan Center and before that a veteran TV reporter and anchor in Kansas City, gave the keynote address ahead of the Mark of Excellence Awards banquet, which was catered by JCCC culinary arts students.

JCCC backpack journalists rushed from one event to the next to cover the conference for class projects. Their reports were posted by day’s end on YouTube.

The 2015 Region 7 Spring Conference is tentatively scheduled for Omaha, Nebraska, next spring.

 

 

 

 

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