2017 National Conference at Dallas

Communications students at Simpson are never short of opportunities to help them gain professional skills.

Last week, a group of five students traveled to Dallas, Texas with Professor Mark Siebert, for the annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention. Students attended three keynote speaking sessions, and participated in other lectures catering to their specific areas of study.

Siebert said the conference was useful to students, who plan to use what they learned and help improve the student media organizations on campus.

“They go to sessions where they can learn something that helps them on The Simpsonian or ID Magazine or KSTM,” Siebert said, adding “Some of them are more specific to the student. It depends on what their area of interest is.”

Junior Emily Carey, attended for the first time and found one workshop focusing on her area of interest in the multimedia journalism field.

“One of the speakers I saw was a day in the life of a video journalist which is what I want to go into. It dealt with the multimedia side with photography and video editing, so I felt that it was helpful just seeing what kind of things they do in a day-by-day setting,” Carey said.

Jayde Vogeler, a senior and Editor-in-Chief of ID Magazine, went to sessions focusing on graphic design and photography.

“One of the most interesting sessions I went to was about interactive story forms in portraying writing into an infographic,” she said.

With the infographics, a 500-word story could be turned into something more visually pleasing and concise. “I think it could add to people’s profiles alongside their writing,” she said.

The students gained skills to take back to better student organizations. Carey’s time in an immersive journalism workshop taught her how using Google Street View can enhance a reader’s visual experience.

“We visited the Grassy Knoll and I took a 360o photo which was actually posted on the Simpsonian’s Facebook page,” Carey said. She added, “I would love to teach other journalism students what we learned from these conventions so we can bring it back to the Simpsonian.”

Siebert said this is a perfect opportunity for students to network with other students around the nation as well as professionals in the field.

Vogeler talked with a former Des Moines Register employee Charles Apple who now works for the Houston Chronicle, doing infographics and design. “I told him I was from Simpson College and he gave me his business card and told me if I ever needed anything to just give him a call,” Vogeler said.

Not only did students attend presentations, Siebert and senior Laura Wiersema presented on covering sexual assault and sexual discrimination stories on a small campus.

For students interested in a convention like this, Siebert said the best way to go is getting involved in student media organizations such as The Simpsonian, KSTM, or ID Magazine.

“Most of the people that go to the conference have been through practicum once. They don’t necessarily have to be a multimedia journalism major, but somebody who has been in one of the practicums so they can put the skills from the convention to use.”

Siebert said next year’s convention will be in Louisville, Kentucky.