This was the session I thought would be most helpful to The Pendulum since so many of our staff members are seniors and we’ll need some new recruits. Nils Rosdahl of North Idaho College gave some helpful advice, but I didn’t get as much out of the session as I hoped, I think partially because the paper at North Idaho College counts as a class so their organization is set up much differently than ours.
He talked a lot about arranging journalism workshops for local high school students, in which local media professionals present sessions similar to the ones at the ACP convention on a more beginner’s level. They even feature best of show contests and critiques for the different schools that attend. I think this could be a good way to promote the paper to local high schools, but our problem is that so many students at Elon are from out of state, so we would only be reaching a small population of potential students.
I was hoping he would discuss recruiting current students more. He suggested talking to classes, which we already do, but he did suggest talking to not only journalism students but photography and graphic design students in the art department, which I think is something we should consider doing. He also suggested running in-house ads when new positions are available, which is something we also already do.
A few of his suggestions were pretty questionable. He said student reporters should contact the admissions office to get the correct spelling of students’ names, their hometowns and their ages when they are subjects in a story. I feel like this is the kind of information that can be obtained much more easily during the actual interview. He also said one thing that helps them is having a close relationship with the Seattle Mariners. The team gives them free stuff and access to their press box in exchange for a double truck about the team, and I feel like this is against the SPJ code of ethics. Rosdahl gave a few helpful hints, but the more questionable advice made the session a little disappointing.