DES MOINES, Iowa (Feb. 3, 2012)—Blog fans, a quick update before a session I am supposed to moderate.
I’ve had a very interesting 1 ½ days at the Iowa College Media Association convention. One of my overriding impressions is that Mount Mercy needs to invite the Freedom Singers from the First Amendment Center for a program sometime soon. They do a fantastic and eye-opening show that raises lots of issues students to be aware of a talk about.
Plus, they’re just rockin’
Other Impressions from this year’s sessions:
- We need a more organized on-line social media strategy for the MMU Times. Our web traffic is too low because we don’t give people a reason to go to our site, which tends to follow the paper rather than lead it. And while we do have a Twitter Account and Facebook page, we don’t use them well at all. I’ve added blogging as an assignment in some writing courses—will have to set some Twitter guidelines too, I’m thinking.
- I’m glad I teach at MMU. The organizer of our newspaper contest could not be at our meeting today because he has to do a presentation to his college’s board of trustees to justify his department’s existence. A double-digit number of faculty has already been laid off and some departments may not survive. It’s a cold world out there.
- Best ICMA quotes:
–“It’s not just who and what, it’s why and how.” Christine Williams of the Seattle Times on the role of a newspaper journalist.
–“Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus.” What was going through Des Moines Register photographer Julia Thompson’s mind as she took a picture that won a Pulitzer Prize (Williams was on the Pulitzer panel, too).
–GOYAAGKOD. The mail rule of journalism, according to U of I Prof. Stephen Berry (no, not THAT U of I Stephen). It means “get off your ass and go knock on doors.”
–“Experience stands out, but attitude is just as important.” Advice from Julia Thompson of the Des Moines Register on landing that first journalism job.
–“Don’t wait for someone to tell you to get a Twitter account. Do it.” Thomas Ritchie of the Sioux City Journal to students. A new job applicant who has no social media experience has a snowball’s chance in Iowa (little joke there) of landing a news job.
Anyway, I may do a follow up later. Got two sessions to lead. Check in later!