Student-Run Since '51

An editor, a writer and a photographer walked into a hotel

Kayla Benefiel, Staff Columnist

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An editor, a writer and a photographer walked into a Radisson Blu hotel and what did they see? A whole bunch of other editors, writers and photographers at the Associated Collegiate Press Best of Midwest convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 6.
You know the butterfly feelings you get in your stomach when you have a crush on someone? That’s exactly how I felt on the way up to and throughout the convention. The feeling that you aren’t sure what is going to happen in the future but you’re so excited to see what does.
Of the many sessions, one of my favorites was called “How to Go from College to Pro.” The speaker, Kelly Smith, who is a reporter for Star Tribune, discussed a variety of pointers on how to land your first journalism job and also internships. She had great advice for the fully packed room of the future generation of journalists. One piece of advice I picked up from Kelly Smith was that employers will look into your social media profiles to see how you act/behave and if you are a good candidate for the job. I always knew in the back of my mind that companies looked into people’s social medias but I didn’t really think they were so hardcore about it. Right then I knew it was real.
Saturday sessions before the lunch break ended on a good note. The Keynote speaker, Boyd Huppert, is a reporter at KARE-TV in Minneapolis and has received a national reputation as a professional and as an instructor of visual storytelling.
Huppert’s work amazed me, made me laugh hysterically and brought me to tears. He showed us a story he did about a neighborhood of love where six couples who all have been married for over 50 years live on the same block. The couples shared how they fell in love and memories over the years. One couple had a heartbreaking story where the wife is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and the husband is in their home alone, but he still loves her with all of his heart. I enjoyed the stories he reported on and look up to how well he did at his job. It almost made me want to get into news broadcasting, but my current fear of being on television and visibly screwing up has held me back from pursuing a career on camera.
I was happy to learn that Mark Witherspoon, the adviser of the Iowa State Daily, would also be attending the convention, because next year I will be attending Iowa State University and writing for its newspaper. I was able to meet him after his session on the First Amendment and description of creative events to raise awareness for the First Amendment. I was totally blown away and unsettled when I found out that only 1% of the American population can name all five items of the First Amendment. It actually made me sad that such a large majority of Americans don’t even know the freedoms granted to them.
The convention looked into so many areas of journalism; it was almost overwhelming. The sessions ranged from internet and social media to radio and news casting. I was intrigued by the number of internet and social media sessions that were offered but I wish that the convention provided more sessions on print journalism. However, it was neat to learn about new ways that journalism is being released today. For example, using an app, you are able to scan an interactive barcode on a print newspaper to upload stories to the internet to share with your friends.
The ACP convention was an eye-opener because I could see the reality of this career field and how much fun it is. I can’t wait to see what my future holds in the career of journalism. As Henry Anatole Grunwald, best known for being managing editor of TIME magazine said, “Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”

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Student-Run Since '51
An editor, a writer and a photographer walked into a hotel