Rethinking formats of sessions

By Tommy Hamzik

I went to a wider variety of sessions this year, with many focusing on broad student media issues and ways to be a better editor opposed to all the sports ones I went to last year. While it was good to hear from other editors about the issues they face and how they handle them, I felt like most of the sessions were largely unproductive.

They followed a very similar pattern: presenter speaks for 15-20 minutes before someone’s hand shoots up with a question, and then the floodgates open with more hands raised and more questions. Before long, the sessions would turn into students presenting their problems — most of which were unique to their school and situation, so not pertaining to the majority of the group — and asking the presenter for advice.

There’s absolutely a time and place for this, and this conference is a perfect spot to seek help from other student journalists and professionals about how to handle tough situations. But during a session, unless prompted, isn’t the best time. It wastes the time of other students who don’t face such issues and would rather hear more from the presenter about the topic of the session.

So talk to them after the session and get their contact information. Or mingle around in the lobby or near the table with all the newspapers. That way, it’s on your time, not others’.

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