Wave of Change: Ride It or Wipe Out Day 2

Yesterday was the second and final day of the SPJ Region 11 conference and it was definitely more interesting than Friday’s. I met two students from Arizona State and one student from University of New Haven (who’s originally from The Netherlands!).

The day started with Journalism in the Era of Social Media and even though I knew that Facebook and Twitter were where people got their news, I didn’t know that YouTube, Pinterest, and some others were also sources. The most important quote I got was “we have no control of our content. Once it’s out on the Internet, people are gonna share it, like it, comment, etc.” Journalists have to understand that in this day and age.

After that I stayed for Investigative Journalism, which had Keoki Kerr (Hawaii New Now) as one of the speakers. Let me tell you right now, he looks big in person. It was an informative panel and even though it’s not what I want to do, it is an interest. The stories that the speakers told us about were interesting, especially about the UH professor who was running a prostitution ring and one of the speakers had to go undercover to see if it was true (it was).

Lunch was next, and it was Thai food, ‘nuff said. It was good though!

Yunji de Nies (KITV) did a short lunchtime speech and I was inspired by her tips (don’t apologize; always say yes even if you’re afraid; keep pitching yourself and your skills until you get a job). Since she got her MA in journalism at UC Berkeley I wanted to talk to her about going back to school for my MA, but some lady was taking up a lot of time and by then it was time to go to the next panel.

My last panel of the day was Race & Diversity. The example used to describe how sensitive race and people of color were when wanting to write stories on them was the Deedy case, where, in 2011, an off duty white federal agent shot and killed a local (non-white) man at a McDonald’s in Waikiki. I remember Civil Beat was all over this, as well as all of the news outlets, especially Hawaii News Now. It was crazy and race was definitely talked about by the public. (Deedy’s retrial is set for June or early July of this year). The point of that panel was to be respectful and mindful when wanting to write about minorities.

All in all, my first conference was both an eye opener and a learning experience. I know next time to be just a little more assertive when it comes to talking to professionals, and to have business cards. It was interesting and informative. I’m glad I went because who knows when the next conference is going to be held here. I now have more insight into what journalists do and being in the same room as professionals was pretty neat.


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