Much of the Chieftain staff were in Charleston, IL for an Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) conference on Oct. 2-3. At this conference, community college students from all across Illinois gathered at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) to learn how to become better journalists. The meetings were not just for the students as there were two meetings for advisors, one on each day of the conference.
There were a variety of topics covered during the workshops, from photojournalism to web design to press law. Dinner was provided to attendees the first day, with the keynote speaker Nora Maberry speaking during the meal. The workshops were led by journalists and professors of EIU throughout both days, the first lasting from 1-5 p.m. and the second from 10 a.m. to noon.
Andrew Nessler thoroughly enjoyed the conference and the campus. “This semester’s conference was well-organized. My only complaints would have to be that it was a longer drive and that there are no awards in the Fall semester,” he said. The libel workshop presented by John Ryan, EIU Journalism Dept. Chair, was his favorite. “It was extremely informative with regard to the complexities of libel cases.”
Jennifer Simmering, another BHC attendee, said, “Attending the conference was a great opportunity and provided a lot of information that will be useful for working for the Chieftain, as well as future career aspirations. It was also impressive that they [EIU] had their own printing press on campus for their daily newspaper.” Simmering attended various workshops including Developing and Maintaining a Web Presence, PhotoShop Basics, Editors Roundtable, and Designing Pages. “I think, if I have to pick [a favorite workshop], it would be Designing Pages. It had the highest attendance of the four I went to, and had greater interaction within the group,” she said. “In addition, I learned a lot of good tips and ideas about eye-pleasing design and newspaper layout.”
The next ICCJA conference The Chieftain staff hope to attend will be in the spring, where an awards banquet will be held honoring students’ work in a variety of categories.