Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Attendees, speakers offer CSPA perspective

Andrew Rurik

Senior editor-in-chief Alexander Rurik, right, speaks with the Student Press Law Center’s senior legal counsel, Mike Hiestand, about the rights of student journalists in public schools and private schools at the CSPA convention, March 21.

Students from all across the nation travel to Columbia University for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s (CSPA) Spring Convention, March 20-22. Over 2,460 student journalists, from 325 schools and over 35 states, traveled to New York City to take part in the 95th annual spring convention and attend sessions taught by journalism advisers, professional journalists and student leaders.

The CSPA convention offers classes for students in magazine publications, yearbooks, digital and print newspapers, photographers and videographers. Both attendees and instructors share their insight and experiences with the Spring Convention below.

The Feather Online encourages students, advisers and other professionals to comment on their own experiences of the CSPA Convention.

Values student participation
Edmund J. Sullivan, CSPA Executive Director
March 21, 2019

“I think opening day is great when you see everybody coming in and getting acclimated and then they’re off to sessions to start learning. The next morning, today, the second day of the event, people seemed very eager to get out and try out different sessions. It’s an invigorating type of participation.”

Reminding students of their rights
Mike Hiestand, teaches Private Schools and Media Laws, Senior Legal Counsel for the SPLC
March 21, 2019

“I think a lot of these topics students are not able to hear about on a regular basis. We’re reminding young people that laws exist that they can you. Students journalists have an essential voice and they come from a very unique perspective, and if they don’t tell their stories and do the reporting that they are tasked with doing, nobody else is going to. Giving them the tools that they need to actually do their jobs is a big part of what we are.

Social media as a tool
Carol Cook, yearbook staff, Lakeview Lioness
March 21, 2019

“This is my first time at the CSPA convention. The conference is going great and it’s super informative. So far, we’ve mainly been learning about how to use social media as a tool.”

Appreciate of the SPLC
Beth Black, adviser, Piedmont Highlander
March 21, 2019

“I’ve been bringing students to the convention for 18 years. The law and ethics sessions are my favorite because it keeps us grounded in what we do. The SPLC has helped us in the last few years with stories that we’ve done. The convention brings energy back to my kids in March when I need it most to finish the year and it ramps up my editors for the future. They learn how much press freedom they actually have in the state of California compared to the rest of the country, which is really eye-opening.

Broadening horizons
Jenna Harris, staff writer, southern Florida
March 21, 2019

“It’s been really educational and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve only been in journalism for one year, so going to this conference has really broadened my horizons on every different aspect of the class and what we have to learn.”

Andrew Rurik

Senior editor-in-chief Alexander Rurik is representing The Feather Online at the CSPA Spring Convention, March 20-22.

Creativity can be developed
Sean Kelly, teaches How to be More Creative, visual journalist
March 21, 2019

“What I hope to show is that creativity is a skill that can be developed, practiced and improved. It’s not just something that some people are born with, but you can really get better at it. I really love meeting the students because it’s great to just hear their perspective. I love the idea of a fresh perspective.”

Remembering the convention
Kaylie Clem, photo editor, The Feather Online
March 21, 2019

“The Feather New York trip has been the highlight of my school year for the last two years. I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend the CSPA conference and hear from experienced speakers. It really is such a cool experience to get to sit alongside students from across the US and gain a new perspective on journalism. I love getting to continually grow and introduce new and fun ways to deliver news through photography.”

Learning about censorship
Alexa Villa, yearbook staff, Lakeview Lioness
March 21, 2019

“It’s been really fun and has exceeded my expectations. We went to classes about how directors can censor what students write about, especially if they are more controversial topics.”

Applying new material
Einav Cohen, managing editor, southern Florida
March 21, 2019

“The conference has been really good since I am an editor. I need to know a lot of this stuff so learning a lot of this will basically enable me to re-teach it to my class, which is pretty cool.”

The Feather encourages those to participated in the convention to engage by leaving a comment below.

For more articles, read CSPA Digital News Gold Crown Finalist 2019 and The Feather takes NYC 2018: CSPA Convention recap.

Alexander Rurik can be reached via Twitter @alexrurik23, email and Instagram.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

Your voice is important to us. Share your opinion in the comment box located beneath the Related Posts section.