It’s been so interesting to see how hit-or-miss our sessions at the CMA Conference can be. The four of us have already been to two sessions each today, and we’ve all walked away with different insights and new perspectives on things. Some of us have loved our sessions and found them really interesting; for others, the sessions have been slightly lackluster.
Unfortunately, my first session of the day — “Rock & Roll Reporting in a Digital World” — was more of the latter.
As a whole, the session had its moments. I learned a lot about how to be an entrepreneurial journalist — how to find a niche and “cover the shit out of it,” (their words, I promise!), while also trying to be well-versed in other areas as much as possible. I learned that saving interview tapes is invaluable (though I stand by the idea that digital > everything else, contrary to what the session leaders believed). And I learned that it’s extremely important to have good conversations with your interview subjects, and realize that they are regular people. You’re not there to be a fan (which is important, since I hope to go into entertainment journalism). There truly were a lot of good lessons given in this session.
But the lessons I’ve learned at Elon have been a blessing and a curse — a blessing because, on one hand, I’ve learned really important skills very early in my college career, which I can continue to hone as I take my first steps into the real world. They are a curse, though, because some of the sessions at the CMA Conference will simply be a repetition of things I already know. It is mainly for that reason that “Rock & Roll Reporting in a Digital World” didn’t feel as engaging as I’d hoped it would. It’s so difficult to pack a career’s worth of lessons into 50 minutes, and I so admire Toni Albertson and Elena Jarvis for trying to do so. But I did leave, unfortunately, feeling like we’d barely skimmed the surface of what was really important.
It certainly didn’t dim my mood, though. I know that I’ll be hearing from so many different professionals over the course of this conference, and regardless of how much knowledge I take with me from each individual session, every little bit helps.