BYU Society of Professional Journalists’ chapter president Eleanor Cain Adams attended sessions discussing everything from resume hacks to covering sexual assault at SPJ’s three-day convention in Baltimore
Fellow news media student Emma Benson and I attended the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Excellence in Journalism convention from Sept. 27-29 with faculty member and SPJ advisor Kris Boyle. The Society of Professional Journalists encourages ethical journalism and the freedom of the press, and hosts several regional conventions each year in addition to the national gathering we attended.
The convention offered a variety of informational sessions to choose from each day, with a combined keynote session each afternoon and plenty of networking opportunities with journalists from around the country. In addition to networking, I loved learning new marketable skills from real professionals. A favorite session I attended was “Al’s Jaw-Droppingly Cool Tools,” where Al Tompkins from the Poynter Institute shared his favorite apps, websites and online resources for doing journalism.
For me personally, the most powerful moment of the conference was when we all sat together in solidarity as the publisher of the Baltimore Sun retold the tragic events of the June 28 shooting in their newsroom and of the heroism that followed. It was a bold reminder to me of why it is so important to support and protect the free press; it was something I could never have experienced here in class at BYU and that I will never forget.
Over the course of the convention I attended a variety of sessions on everything from how to get a job, cover sexual assault, freelance and podcast to covering midterm elections. As a student, I appreciated the opportunity to learn from the variety of professionals in attendance and couldn’t wait to come back to campus to share my new knowledge with other news media students.
Attending SPJ’s national convention helped me realize the importance of the free press and of what SPJ does — especially here at BYU’s SPJ chapter. To learn more about SPJ and upcoming events, follow them on Facebook.
By Eleanor Cain Adams