Purchase Brick Staffers Go to College Media Convention in NYC

Journalism Professor Donna Cornachio and Brick staffers Ole Skaar and Sarah Ellis representing SUNY Purchase at a college media convention in New York (Assistant Editor Mike PIazza was at the convention too but not around for the photo)

Journalism Professor Donna Cornachio and Brick staffers Ole Skaar and Sarah Ellis representing SUNY Purchase at a college media convention in New York (Assistant Editor Mike Piazza was at the convention too but not around for the photo)

SUNY Purchase Assistant Professor of Journalism Donna Cornachio took a small crew of Purchase Brick staffers into the city this weekend to represent Purchase and meet the other student journalists and their advisors who poured in from all over the country for the event.

Prof. Cornachio, the proud faculty advisor to The Brick, wrote about their trip in this journoprof guest post:

“This past weekend some editors at The Brick and I took a busman’s holiday and attended the College Media Association’s annual convention at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. Among us, Ole Skaar, editor in chief, Mike Piazza, assistant editor, and Sarah Ellis, photo editor, attended dozens of workshops geared toward students and their advisers who have college newspapers, Websites, broadcast stations and yearbooks.

We realized pretty quickly that we were both a bit jaded as New Yorkers (Sarah: “In a class on using Instagram, the other students were so excited to show photos of themselves posing in Times Square”) and rather underdressed (Mike: “Everyone there was in a suit, or they at least put some effort into looking nice”). We were struck by how far some students had traveled to get there—one student, who goes by the dj handle “Roman Candles” came from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The four of us broke ranks and tried to cover as much ground as we could. Sarah learned about media law for photojournalists and videographers; Mike attended a workshop on writing perfect pitches for editors; Ole got a one-on-one critique of The Brick from CUNY journalism professor Bill Hughes.  Ole reported that Hughes found “the website clean and functional (although he thought the logo looked kind of like the logo on his retirement plan!). He also advised us to move the YouTube embeds up, to advertise for writers on the site, and to strongly consider getting a print presence on campus, which I agree with, especially after seeing the huge amount of professional-looking college newspapers on display at CMA.”

I took a workshop run by Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center on what to do when—as has already happened several times since I’ve been adviser to The Brick—someone calls demanding we remove a story from our site and when we do and do not have to unpost content.

Sarah and I sat in on a fantastic presentation by Brian Storm, the founder and executive producer of the award-winning multimedia storytelling studio that, as Sarah noted, “makes the New York Times “One in 8 Million” series look amateur.”

You know what the killer device is, guys?” Storm asked the audience. “The killer device is storytelling. That’s what we do. That’s what it’s all about.”

It was great for all of us to get off the reservation as Tara George likes to say.  Ole added: “Overall, I think the best thing about the convention was just getting a bigger perspective of all the different college media outlets, and realizing that we don’t exist in isolation.” Amen to that.

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