Snowdrift staff gets experience in big-city life reporting
EPHRAIM—Members of the staff of the Snow College newspaper, Snowdrift, received some much-needed training in Atlanta during a media conference, taking in the experience of big-city life in the meantime.
Seven members of the 16-member Snowdrift staff, accompanied by Snowdrift Advisor Sandra Cox, took the week-long trip to Atlanta to attend the College Media Association (CMA) Conference for fall of 2016, in conjunction with the Society for College Journalists (SCJ).
SCJ members hosted a variety of workshops and offered critiques of student-run newspapers. Besides Snow, students attending represented over 30 different colleges around the country.
“The conference is a great opportunity for students to interact with other colleges throughout the nation,” Cox says. “It provides great resume experience, and it helps students broaden their horizons. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get out, do teamwork, and have fun together.”
The conference took place over the course of Thursday to Sunday last week, offering about 20 different workshops per hour. Students picked from a variety of choices about where to go and what to learn.
“I went to a really great panel about how to interview people,” Snowdrift staff member Savannah Palmer says. “They taught really well about how to get real answers, how to connect with them and how to ask the right questions.”
Some the approximately 360 workshops offered during the week focused on other aspects of journalism and media.
“One that I really enjoyed talked about how to get TV up and running at your college,” Snowdrift staff member Adam Allred said. “I really like the innovative ideas that I got from it. They gave me a lot of good ideas about how to start clubs and generate interest. It helps me further my interest in starting TV shows on campus.”
Cox took over as advisor for the student-governed Snow College newspaper in 2012. Cox’s willingness to step in and advise the paper saved it from being disbanded despite being part of Snow since 1929. Cox is a graduate of Grand Canyon University with a Master’s degree in communication with an Emphasis in journalism.
The Snowdrift staff explored the city of Atlanta every day, outside of their conference obligations. Staff members toured places like CNN headquarters, Coca-Cola World, the Georgia Aquarium, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Centennial Olympic Park.
They were also exposed to Atlanta’s vibrant food scene, including a southern favorite, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.
“Olympic Park was an opportunity [to see] a whole different demographic of people,” Palmer says. “I enjoy people watching.”
Speaking of the conference, Cox says she hopes that the staff of the Snowdrift learned skills that will translate quickly into higher quality for the Snowdrift newspaper.
“Hopefully, it encourages the students to pick up more solid, hard news, instead of just writing about opinion,” Cox said, “to actually dig deep and do research, getting solid facts. Hopefully, they will dip a little bit more into student government and some of the political aspects of the college and the community.”