Over the Halloween weekend more than 2,000 student journalists from around the nation immersed themselves in the journalistic culture of the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association convention in Austin, Texas.
As stated in the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention booklet, there’s no better place to apply your journalistic skills than the city dubbed “Weirdest” in the U.S.
The convention was comprised of more than 300 practical and professional learning sessions that were presented in the Hilton Hotel right in the middle of downtown. Throughout the four-day stay, students from all around America got a chance to interact with other college journalist as well as some of the award-winning industry professionals who lead the sessions. With over 200 colleges in attendance spanning from New York to Hawaii, Tri-C’s own Voice Newspaper was invited to the event, and even up for editorial story of the year.
The association teams up year after year for this annual convention to welcome writers, editors, photographers, designers and every newspaper staff in-between to be part of unbiased open-ended conversation during the informational lecture sessions. Providing such diverse sessions required an even wider range of speakers to inform students of all sides of the journalistic spectrum.
Keynote speakers varied from attorneys who spoke about legal conflicts to be aware of when dealing with certain issues to the story of Anthony Graves, a man who was wrongfully convicted of capital murder and served more than 18 years in prison under the false conviction, and who now is a world-renown death penalty abolitionist.
Tri-C’s own editor-in-chief, Angela Wolfe was considered for editorial story of the year for her work on Tri-C’s registered sex offender issue, an article that lead Tri-C to change its policies.
“It was an amazing feeling to be recognized by professional on the national level while among my peers,” says Angela who ended up walking away with an honorable mention from the ACP/CMA.
The Voice was also considered for a national award for best newscast for its November 2014 coverage of a basketball player’s tragic accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. The Voice News won a second place Pinnacle award, losing first place to Kent State University.
“I’m proud of the fact that Tri-C Voice took home a second place Pinnacle award – to be even considered for a top three best newscast award is an honor,” said Bronson Peshlakai, former editor-in-chief and executive producer of the newscast that won the award. “This goes to show the talent we all put forth to report such a tragic story in a professional manner.”
As Halloween came and went in the “Weird City” students left the convention to return back to their newsrooms, back to their school, and back to their cities, hopefully under a new journalistic perspective, and a finer sense of what it takes, to be a journalist.