The spark of an idea.
It was murmured as we were sitting at an awards ceremony at the 2011 spring college media convention in NYC: “Let's get our staffs together.”
Fast forward five months, and my yearbook editors and I are at the 2011 Regional Yearbook Workshop in Bloomington, Ind., with two other staffs from our region being inspired by great design ideas and great coverage ideas. We are getting pumped and motivated for the beginning of our journey to cover the stories of this school year.
I am eternally grateful to CMA for its dynamic membership, a membership that is collaborative and willing to extend a hand of help. My students and I continually grow because CMA members are willing to share their expertise, as well as the expertise of their alumni.
Another spark of an idea was launched at NYC convention in 2009. Carol Terracina Hartman of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania told the story of being encouraged to study the educational backgrounds at a research session led by Vince Filak of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Fast forward to Aug. 10 of this year.
I was pleased hear the results of Carol's work, with her research partner, Robert Nulph of Lewis University.
Together they were one of four panelists at a presentation about the “Issues Facing the College Press” at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in St. Louis. Thoughtful advisers, led by moderator Brian Steffen of Simpson College, discussed issues about which they were curious, and the results were thought-provoking.
- Caley Cook of Allegheny College talked about the challenges for students covering hate crime on campus;
- Michael Gouge of North Carolina at Asheville talked about how his college paper has changed with multimedia inclusion and online promotion to meet the needs of his readers;
- Carol Terracina Hartman of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Robert Nulph of Lewis University analyzed the education backgrounds and inspirations of advisers;
• and Dan Reimold of the University of Tampa who told us about exciting young professionals who are changing the media landscape.
I left the meeting inspired by their work and by the stories they told. (I hope some of these presentations will be turned into articles for College Media Review so that all of you can enjoy them.)
In addition to the ideas they shared, they also left me with questions that might be answered with future studies.
Some questions about our changing industry and the training we do to help our students get ready for the profession were answered a few weeks ago at the CMA Summer Advisers Workshop in St. Petersburg, Fla. These programs featured the Poynter faculty and CMA advisers talking about innovations in college media, funding and the role of the adviser. I am so grateful to CMA for providing that training, fellowship and support for the jobs we do. I felt bettered armed to start the year because of the resources, ideas and advice from the folks in those sessions.
I have not stopped thinking about college media. It surrounds me. And so this summer I have been left with many sparks of ideas. This is a year of change for College Media Advisers. Our longtime executive director, Ron Spielberger, is retiring, and we will use this year to search for a new director and headquarters.
And what a good time to reexamine our mission, our vast interests and challenges. We are being guided by the continuing work of our membership, in the trenches helping our students produce outstanding products that record their lives.I hope the fellowship and training from CMA, at our fall conference, our spring conference or our summer workshop or through our listserv, magazine or this newsblog, will guide you and offer you the sparks you need to have a great year!