The Spartan Echo Reflects on Conference
By The Spartan Echo Staff -- Black College Wire   

The 13th annual National HBCU Student News Media Conference hosted by the Black College Communication Association in Columbia, S.C., was nothing like we expected. For many of us, this was the first time attending an event as such, and we definitely enjoyed ourselves.

Being among staff members of other college publications usually results in a competition as the layouts, stories, graphics and headlines of our publications are critiqued by counterparts.  Instead, the staff of each school embraced fellow student journalists and found common ground in the issues addressed at workshops.

The Spartan Echo
Debra Goode, editor in chief
During the conference, we went our separate ways to attain knowledge from various sessions on everything from media ethics to internships.

The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute session offered internship information to students who are starting their sophomore and junior years of college. The program is surprisingly accessible to students who lack experience. It offers a lot of training before sending students to their internships, and don’t require much in return.

Former participants shared their experiences and said that just mentioning Freedom Forum or Val Hoeppner, the manager of multimedia education, is enough to draw the attention of future employers.

A polished résumé is necessary to attain an internship, many of us were reminded in the résumé critiquing session led by Reginald Stuart of the McClatchy Company.
We took in valuable information on how to improve our résumés – the golden ticket to our future employment. We appreciated the constructive critique, infused with words of wisdom on how to bring the best out of ourselves, on and off paper.

This conference provided guidance, insight and hope in the future for journalism students. It gave us an opportunity to hone our journalistic abilities and increase our knowledge. It taught us to use our skills for advancement.

With information provided on résumé writing, media ethics and broadcasting, the sessions aimed to help students better market themselves and garner much-needed internships.

As Maya Angelou once said, “If you get, give.” And that’s what we will do with what we have learned here. We will share it with fellow mass communication and journalism students.

The Spartan Echo is a student newspaper at Norfolk State University. This story was written at the 13th annual National HBCU Student News Media Conference.

Posted Feb. 24, 2011