This past week, The Gramblinite attended the Southeast Journalism Conference that was held in Clarksville, Tennessee at Austin Peay State University.
Young journalists from different colleges around the Southeast got an amazing opportunity to meet and chat with different guest speakers who provided powerful words of wisdom, helpful key points and also a great experience for everyone who attended or was a part of the three day long conference.
Among those speakers were Gene Policinski, a nationally renowned veteran multimedia journalist, Daniel Ryan, a consultant and speaker of the Open Chattanooga Brigade, Rob Selkow, site manager of ClarksvilleNow.com, and many other experts.
There were on-site writing, graphic design and other competitions that journalists were able to enter in.
Asia B., a sophomore majoring in print journalism from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, shared a few of her frustrations throughout her day.
“It’s my first year attending SEJC, and I must say it was very overwhelming at first. I signed up for an on-site competition and because my school was late getting here I had no idea if I still would be able to compete.
“That was my main concern at the time but fortunately I was the very last person that checked in for the competition,” she said.
“On the other hand, the sessions were definitely interesting and helpful. Overall today I did have a fun time. I just wish some things could have gone differently.”
Aside from the onsite competitions, the schedule of events from Thursday included “Social Showdown”, a competition for students to find other students who were from a different school and make an Instagram post of he/she and the other person that describes why you went to the event, “Local News: How to cover stories that engage readers and use social media to grow audience” (which showed students how to use metrics and social media to cover local news.)
Another session, The “Digital Chameleon,” illustrated to students on growing their personal brand and to make themselves as attractive as possible. Hosted by news guru Kevin Slimp, “So You Want to Be a Columnist?” was a session in which Slimp gave his advice on how to become a good columnist like him.
One attendee of the conference was Garrison Cox, a sophomore from Georgia State University who is an accounting finance major.
Cox writes for the art and style section for his schools’ newspaper. “The conference is very informative to me so far. The seminar I went to was “Writing for the Ear” and I learned so many different ways to write and make my articles more vivid. It was straight to the point but also filled with many laughs.
“I appreciated the good vibes that came with it. Not only was this a great way for my schools newspaper staff to learn more about writing but it also brought us together as a team,” Cox said.
The main event that a lot of people were anticipating was the awards ceremony. Because the SEJC has so many members (around 60), it was decided years ago that more than first, second and third places were needed in order to recognize the work of more student journalists. So the results are the Top 10 Best of the South.
Of the 11 entries submitted by The Gramblinite, three were award winners.
It was named No. 10 in Best College Newspaper, and Tierra Smith, who is currently in graduate school at Louisiana State University, took home No. 2 in Best Special Event Reporter/Editor for her continuing coverage of GSU’s presidential search, and No. 7 in College Journalist of the Year.