by Marla Gagne ’18
Dallas, Texas, is home to BBQ, football, cowboy hats, and…journalism? This week on pages 12 and 13 you will find a dose of Dallas as Cowl editors highlight the best parts of the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association’s Fall National Media Convention.
Two weeks ago, five Cowl editors boarded a flight to join a buzzing journalism community in the Lone Star State. Thousands of students, advisers, and journalism experts came together to talk about our favorite thing—news.
The conference was mainly a time of workshops and discussion. We split up and conquered many sessions, ranging from “Cut the Crap,” 10 editing tips that can be done in 10 minutes, to “Diversifying Resources,” the best way to include news about all members on campus. Our photographers met professionals who advised them on the best ways to take last-minute portraits, while we learned more about the First Amendment, reporting objectively, and how to cover those difficult investigative pieces.
We were also able to meet with critics who examined our paper and gave us positive and negative feedback. We were happy to hear the newspaper critic was impressed with The Cowl’s large size, articles, and visual layout, all without a journalism program. We also gained more insight into improving content and received many suggestions for advancing our website and social media.
The convention also placed a big spotlight on the ethics of journalism, especially in an age of “fake news.” Everyone from keynote speakers to advisers reinforced the reporter’s responsibility to find the truth, write objectively, and report with ethical integrity—doing the right thing when no one is watching.
In between workshops and lectures, we were able to explore downtown Dallas and get a taste of the culture, from museums and street murals to highly acclaimed food. Special spots included the Sixth Floor Museum, the location where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy, the Dallas Museum of Art, and Pecan Lodge, home to some of the best Texan barbeque.
Attending the conference was a special experience that allowed us to bond as a staff and gain more journalism knowledge, something especially helpful for non-journalism majors. We thank Providence College for making this opportunity possible and are excited to start applying our new ideas. As always, The Cowl hopes to bring the best and most accurate information to readers and we always love to hear your feedback and ideas.