Shannon Moran Social Media and Blog Editor
During the last few days of October, the Editor-in-Chief, Student Life Editor, and two News Editors of The Elm traveled all the way to Kentucky to attend the Associated Collegiate Press Convention. They attended workshops, panels, and talks, explored the city, and brought back lots of great ideas for our paper. Hear all about their experiences at ACP down below!
Abby Wargo, Editor-in-Chief
ACP is a great opportunity for student journalists and I’m very glad to have attended for the second year in a row.
One of my favorite parts is getting to see other colleges’ student newspapers and comparing their style to ours. The way different papers cover events, what they cover, and their layouts motivates me to look critically at The Elm and figure out what we are doing well and what we can learn from other examples.
Each year, we also have our paper critiqued by another school’s faculty adviser. Our critique this time was fairly helpful; we have implemented a few minor changes to the print edition to reflect some of the feedback we received.
One of the most beneficial workshops I went to was on investigative reporting. I got to hear from journalists from the Indianapolis Star who investigated sexual assault within USA Gymnastics, which led to the discovery of the Larry Nassar abuse allegations. They described the nearly two-year process of reporting, writing, and editing on the story and what full-time investigative journalism is like.
Exploring Louisville, Ky. with my staff was another highlight. While we eschewed the Louisville Slugger factory and bourbon bars (sorry, Lori), we ate some delicious food and enjoyed art at the Speed Art Museum and the 21C hotel. We even walked across the Big Four Bridge and explored Indiana a bit.
Katy Shenk, Student Life Editor
My favorite part of ACP was perusing other student media publications from across the country. I plan on trying to implement some of the more outstanding features in the Student Life section.
I attended a number of sessions that addressed how to thrive in a small media program, which I found very beneficial. Although I don’t anticipate pursuing a career in journalism, ACP was a fantastic opportunity to connect with professional journalists who could critique The Elm and provide us with advice for how to improve.
Journalism as a profession is under a great deal of fire in our current political climate, so it was very encouraging to attend a conference that affirmed the importance and established the responsibilities of a free, informed, and accurate student press.
Cassy Sottile, News Editor
I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend ACP this year. In a time where journalism is so turbulent in the media, I am grateful for being able to collaborate and learn with other student journalists.
Myself and Lori (the other News Editor) took away a lot of information, and are starting to implement what we learned from the various panels we attended.
I attended panels that addressed the challenge of smaller student publications, better work with student government, and how to better cover campus crime, to name a few. All of the panels I attended helped to give me a better understanding of how to thrive in a smaller journalism program. Attending ACP was especially helpful for me because I am considering pursuing a career in journalism, so getting the chance to network with professional journalists was an amazing opportunity.
Being able to spend the weekend with my fellow editors and explore the city of Louisville, Ky. was another highlight. We found some great food, visited some art museums, and even walked across the Big Four Bridge into Indiana, because why not. They helped make this experience fun and memorable for me.
Lori Wysong (News Editor)
ACP was a great experience all around. I attended several panels where I learned things I have already tried to incorporate into the writing and editing process of the News Section. One of my favorites was about bad ledes (and how to avoid them). I also found some of the FERPA information interesting for stories that deal with fellow students.
I also learned a lot about areas of journalism I am not as familiar with such as radio production, photo journalism, and graphic design for news outlets. We definitely incorporated a few visual things from the critique we received from a journalist there. In the future, I would like to get more experience in a few of these areas.
Outside of the conference, it was fun to see how Louisville does Halloweekend, and I absolutely loved seeing the Speed Art museum and generally wandering around the city with my fellow editors. Would recommend the chicken and waffles.
Photograph from Abby Wargo