We’re not in Kansas (City) anymore: An ACP/CMA recap

My conference craziness for the semester finally ended on Sunday.

This past weekend I attended the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers conference in Kansas City, Mo.

The Miami Hurricane sent six people, four from the newsroom and two from the business office.

Other UM student media also sent staffers, including five from the Ibis yearbook and one from Distraction magazine. The respective Hurricane and Ibis advisers also attended.

(Quick shout-out to Hurricane adviser Bob Radziewicz, who learned some iMovie and Audacity at the conference, yay! And he got Twitter on his own. Follow him @caneadviser.)

Another UM professor, Rich Beckman, was the conference’s first keynote speaker on Thursday (Mark Glaser of MediaShift was the keynote on Friday).

Rich started his talk by discussing how the newspaper industry fell behind with the Web. But, instead of harping on the negative, he mostly offered advice for the hundreds of students and advisers in attendance.

Video excerpt of Beckman’s keynote, shot by Anthony Pesce.

To summarize Rich’s advice:

  • You still need the basics — writing and editing across platforms, legal and ethical grounding
  • Everyone needs to know audio and video content gathering, editing and storytelling skills
  • Photojournalism and photo editing skills and the ability to produce audio-driven photo galleries and stories
  • Understand audience, usability, social networking, etc.
  • You need multimedia storytelling skills
  • Skills are given. Once you have them, you need to learn how to use them
  • Take advantage of what the Web is good at (interactivity, availability, etc.)
  • Use your publications to test your skills
  • Follow people, not organizations, when looking for good examples of journalism
  • Find mentors

Rich also discussed how multimedia design and infographic skills as well as multimedia programming and producing skills will land you the best (and best paid) jobs at top news organizations.

Besides the familiar faces, I got to see some new faces and meet some people in person for the first time, including Andrew Dunn, Anthony Pesce (whose video is embedded above) and Miles Skorpen. I’d known each through Twitter and the latter two from CoPress, so it was great to hang with them at the conference.

I also had a mini reunion of sorts with David Grant, editor of the Collegiate Times (Virginia Tech) and Kristen Daum, editor-elect of the State News (Michigan State). The three of us were part of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit scholarship class of 2005.

Speaking of awards:

  • The Hurricane didn’t win an online Pacemaker, but we got a pretty plaque for being a finalist. So, we’re looking to next year’s competition, when we’ll be entering the new WordPress site that Brian Schlansky and I created last summer.
  • Will Wooten, Hurricane visuals editor in spring 2008, won a third place page one design award for the “Do Not Rush the Field” cover

Sneak peak at next project

I’ll be playing producer and leading one of five video teams today for an Election Day 2008 multimedia project, which is being organized by the UM visual journalism program. The group, which also includes seven still photo teams, is being led by vis-j faculty Jim Virga, Kim Grinfeder and Rich Beckman.

We’ll be working in the West Grove and later putting together a site with all the stories, expected to launch soon after the election is finished. Note: This is not live coverage, but instead a documentary-style project.

I’ll write a recap post with my thoughts and a link after it launches.

Until then, follow the project on Twitter. Alex de Carvalho (@alexdc), who is one of the project’s other coaches, and I (@greglinch) will be live tweeting using the hastag #grove.

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