Professors prospective on NYC journalism conference

It’s 10:55 p.m. I just walked in the door from a three-day trip to a journalism conference in New York City with nine students.

I’m tired, but inspired. I felt the need to sit down and write.

In the last few days I’ve seen bonding, a little bickering, inspiration and energy.

I loved the banter I heard in the van over the last three hours. Cell phones and iPods were dying as we screamed up the New York Throughway. That coupled with road-weariness and three full days in New York had turned students silly and loud, but in a fun way.

But mixed into the silly banter was a lot of journalism talk.

There were older students coaching younger students about interviewing. A  future editor was quizzing me with questions, doubting herself out loud and minutes later interviewing classmates for the story on the trip.

My partner in the front seat, who attended 13 one-hour sessions, was talking about how alluring it was hearing foreign correspondents in one session detail how they were driven by a need to see the world first and that journalism was born from that.

I feel good that not only did we see and hear a lot and really soak in the adrenaline that New York City provides (one finally got to see a musical!), but it came with an equally energizing dose of learning. 

A future sports editor in the back spoke like she knows she picked the right career after listening to reporters from Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and ESPN. She said she had doubts in the past, but now more than ever realizes she made the right choice to pursue sports journalism.

For me, pride came in the fact that a San Francisco professor leading a seminar on reporting campus suicides had read our students’ work from last semester on the Brian Dagle suicide. We spoke before her presentation and she allowed me a few minutes to talk about their effort at the end and pass out papers to eager hands.  

As I get ready to get horizontal and unwind on the couch for a few minutes before bed, I’m reflecting. I too am energized, which conferences do. But I’m energized as much by the students energy and excitement as I am from the conference and what I learned about new social media sites and  improving technological reporting.

As much as I get out of telling a good story in print, I have to say seeing inspired students and reading stories that they create is as pleasurable if not more.  

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