It’s hard to want to focus this post on any subject but one. If you’re reading this, you probably already know what that is.
But I’ll start at the beginning. When we first arrived at the Galt House in downtown Louisville, I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t know what I would get out of this conference, how it would affect my feelings toward journalism, how I could bring some of these ideas back to the staff. But I quickly realized there was a lot to get out of it. Just look at the sheer amount of information on this blog now. Sure, some of the sessions were nothing new. Some speakers just didn’t show up. But there’s so much knowledge pumped into this website now just from five kids taking notes. I myself have 16 pages.
And from that, we’re going to create handouts for people on staff. We’re going to go over some of the ideas in meetings, we’re going to apply them and make them The Pendulum’s ideas.
We’ve got ideas for multimedia projects and new forms of backpack journalism we can utilize during the big, spot news events. We have new takes on the oldest concept in the newspaper business—the writing itself. We’ve taken down information on how to be better student leaders, how to interview those hard sources, how to package news specifically for the web, the different ways you can add multimedia to your stories. There’s so much here, and that’s pretty impressive. These are things we can bring back to the staff and let these ideas take form at The Pendulum. These are concepts we’ll take and make our own, ideas we’ll pass on to those that come after us.
So it’s hard to be too upset about not winning the Pacemaker this year. Colin is right—surprisingly—when he says we have a lot to be proud of for being named a finalist. People were perpetually impressed with our paper throughout the conference, and that’s a great feeling.
Of course, it still is frustrating. Everyone’s put in an incredible amount of focus, effort and creativity into this paper. We’ve all spent days, nights and weekends in the office trying to achieve the best newspaper we can.
But our first goal is this: providing news and information to Elon University students, faculty and staff. I’d say we do that pretty well. As long as we do that, the rest will figure itself out. So let’s take the ideas here and put them to use. Let’s become an organization based around constant betterment—of ourselves and of the paper.
This conference was a good chance to reflect, to look back on the past ten months and see how we’ve all progressed. And at this point, I’m pretty happy with our progress. We’re scrappy, but we’re good. And people recognize that.