Never have I felt more at home than when I was in Georgia this past week while attending the 2007 Management Seminar for College Newspaper Editors.
My feelings of ease were not due to the state of Georgia, or even the towns of Athens and Atlanta in which we spent all our time.
Instead, I loved the fact I was surrounded by other journalism nerds like myself, people that have a passion for the craft and industry that is journalism and news dissemination.
Rarely do I find myself in a group consisting of such a large percentage of people with similar career goals and interests as I did at MSCNE 2007, specifically people like Ben Corn and Sara Kuhlman from the newspaper at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind.
That wasn’t even the best part of the weeklong conference because listening to the numerous engaging and informative speakers trumps the excellent social experience I encountered.
I had the pleasure of meeting and dining with Kate Marymont, who is the executive editor and vice president of news for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla.
Marymont works heavily in the new media field, which means she deals a lot with online journalism and all accompanying multimedia aspects such as video and audio treatments for news stories.
She has what I consider to be an enviable job because I too love online journalism and everything it entails.
Another person with a job I am jealous of is Bryan Murley. He runs the Web site for the Center for Innovation in College Media, and he also presented during the conference.
It was interesting and rewarding to finally meet him face-to-face.
I had corresponded with him in the past via e-mail for a project he was working on, and I have been a fan of his blog for sometime; however, to actually hear him speak and impart his knowledge was far more valuable than only reading his words on his blog. He spoke with a passion that clearly showed his level of expertise and enthusiasm in regards to the world of journalism.
One thing that Murley spoke about was the coverage of the Virginia Tech massacre. He shared some interesting opinions on the topic, but another presenter was far more engaging on that topic.
Amie Steele, editor in chief of Virginia Tech’s Collegiate Times, spoke about how she and her staff covered the event that struck so close to their own hearts. It was impressive to hear how she and her staff put their emotions aside enough to cover the event without become to cold and callous the situation at hand. She inspired me.
That was really the theme of the week for me, though. Inspiration.
So many topics and ideas were discussed that I took pages upon pages of notes.
I came back to my newsroom from MSCNE 2007 with a refreshed zeal and zest for my job.
With the thinking juices flowing freely due to the Georgia conference, I know have an incredible number of plans and goals for The Sunflower, and I plan to have them all implemented or attempted by mid-semester this fall.
I’m very excited, and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend MSCNE 2007. I urge everyone to pay attention to The Sunflower, especially the Web site, this semester.
Big things are going to be happening.