CSPA conference brings insight and advice

Clark Zhu | The Feather Online

At the first day of the convention, the Columbia grounds are covered with snow, March 15.

The icy temperatures and frigid winds left over from the blizzard didn’t stop Feather students from hopping onto the NY Metro and trudging through slush to get to Columbia University, to attend the 93rd annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention, March 15.

After attending photo adviser’s Kori Friesen’s ‘Image as a hook’ session and taking in three more, the team ate a late lunch at one of the local food establishments in Morning Heights.

The middle of the week brought the team to the CSPA convention, which was held at Columbia University. Adviser Kori Friesen presented a session on hooking audiences with images.

“With more and more people getting their news from social media and digital formats, the image plays a bigger role ever,” Friesen said. “Using your image as a hook to create curiosity, interest or intrigue encourages viewers to click further in. I taught on these principles with five tips to choosing and capturing better images.“

Henry Wiebe is a junior preparing to become a staff editor for his school newspaper Silver Chips Online. At the convention, he listened to the Know Your (Copy) Rights talk and was glad to be informed of what his rights were in journalism.

“This is my second time coming out to the CSPA. My team and I came out here today to help improve our skills in journalism,” Wiebe said. “The speakers were very good, and I am looking forward to learning a lot more about journalism this week.”

This is my second time coming out to the CSPA. My team and I came out here today to help improve our skills in journalism.The speakers were very good, and I am looking forward to learning a lot more about journalism this week. — Henry Wiebe

After a long lunch break, the students returned to the university to learn more about journalism skills, including how to use them after high school. Bonnie Blackman is a publishing representative for Jostens, who taught a session about how important journalism helps essay skills and build a profile.

“I wanted to allow the students to think about their own personal strengths and be more detailed in explaining experiences that might lead to creative applications essays,” Blackman said. “I really think it’s important for journalism students to realize they have unique traits and skill sets that they can bring to a college or university of their choice, and they should take advantage of it. I love what I do because I love working with young people who are really passionate about what they do and want to make a difference.”

After a stroll through snowy sidewalks and slippery subways, the merry band of journalists and photojournalists arrived at photographer Peter Hurley’s studio. Hurley is a known as one of the best headshot photographers in NY, who agreed to host the NY journalism team in his city workshop.

“I may be shooting for the head, but I am aiming at their heart,” Hurley said. “I really think that photos are powerful. I believe we as photojournalists can change someone’s perception of themselves with the click of the shutter. My goal is to take the best picture that’s ever been taken of you, period.”

Departing from the CSPA convention and visit Peter Hurley, a world famous photographer was as educational as being on campus back at Fresno to say the least. After a quick break at the hotel, the team enjoyed a long, entertaining meal at Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

After the team’s visit and interview with Hurley, the band retreated into the metro and took their seats on the crowded trains. They returned to the Edison Hotel and made their way to the 50’s themed Stardust Diner. Greeted by loud music and singing waitresses, the team took their seats and placed their orders.

Nine-month employee, Erica Hansen enjoys working with fellow actors and works with many talented people at Stardust Diner. 

Jarrod Markarian | The Feather Online

Students were invited for a personal interview with headshot photographer Peter Hurley.

“Stardust is unique mostly because you’re not just getting regular servers here,” Hansen said. “You’re getting servers who are not only aspiring Broadway artists but people who have already been on Broadway and on national tours which are just in between contracts. They are still finding a way to make money in a survival job, while still being performers.”

The day was an overall success for Mariana Fikse, ‘18, who enjoyed experiencing the sessions and eating at Stardust Diner.

“It was really neat seeing Columbia University because it was a very positive experience, and I am looking forward to the rest of the sessions this week,” Fikse said. “I also really enjoyed the Stardust Diner because it was a kind of change of pace for the day. The restaurant felt like a scene from out of a movie, and it made me really felt like I was in New York.”

On day five of the Feather NY trip, the team will hope visit Bryant Park, NY Public Library, Rockefeller Center, and the Broadway show Stomp.

Check back throughout the week to stay updated with The Feather’s adventures in New York.

To read another daily recap check out: Feather takes NYC 2017: Day 3.

Slideshow images below are from day four of the Feather’s New York trip.

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