Spartan staff takes bite out of Big Apple

Bright lights, busy streets, and the scents of warm deli goodies welcomed a handful of Castleton students to New York City on March 14-16, as they ventured into the Big Apple for a college media and journalism conference.The students, all staff members of the Castleton Spartan newspaper, piled into a van and left Castleton at the crack of dawn on March 14, accompanied by Journalism Professor David Blow, and drove off to the three-day conference set in the heart of Times Square.

Castleton senior Courtney Bonoyer was one of three students who had never been to the city prior to the trip, and was in complete awe of the scene.

“It was an amazing experience,” Bonoyer said. “There is so much to do, even late at night. It was awesome to be around people who were also involved in journalism.”

The conference took place in the center of Times Square at the Marriot Marquis hotel and convention center. The students attended a minimum of five, hour-long sessions, which provided insightful information about the always-changing media world.

Professor Blow’s favorite session was one of the keynote events, which was a 90-minute long session by journalist Byron Pitts.

“I loved his message of hard work and desire. He was illiterate until he was 12 and one of his college professors told him he should quit school because he was wasting time and money,” Blow said. “Now he’s working for CBS News.”

Junior Molly Fraher, who also attended the trip, enjoyed the “finding work in the media” session.

“The whole trip was a very eye-opening, good experience,” Fraher said. “But this session in particular was very handy for help getting a job after we graduate.”

The sessions ran throughout the day, ranging from a variety of focuses and topics. Several sessions discussed the different types of media, and how it is extremely important for aspiring journalists to be knowledgeable about each style in order to succeed.

Castleton junior Robert Burge, who serves as photographer and layout editor for The Spartan, especially liked the typography session, an underrated aspect of design.
Burge had also never been to the city and he basked in his glory taking countless pictures of the beauty before him.

Besides attending these sessions though, there was certainly more to the experience.

“I like getting to know the students differently than in the classroom,” Blow said. “The trip is two-fold. A lot of the sessions are pretty beneficial and they show journalism in different voices. And also, students get to see NYC. Some have never been before, and it’s a completely different world.”

When it was finally time to leave, there was an evident ease among the group. And, even after Courtney Bonoyer realized she had left her cellular phone back in the hotel room, exposing a brief unease, before being told the hotel had found it and would ship it back to her.

But overall, the trip left the students full of new ideas and memories.

“It was a good social experience,” Castleton Spartan Managing Editor Terry Badman said. “Everybody will have good chummy memories . . . and it also (created) a greater sense of camaraderie.

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