Op-Eds Opinion

A Look Back at the ACP2LA Journalism Conference

Gabby Maulucci

Sports Editor

Awake well before the sun, I met the other eight editors and assistants of The Springfield Student outside of the Springfield College newspaper office at 3:55 a.m., eager to escape the bitter 10 degree New England weather and wave goodbye to our wind tunnel of a campus.

I must admit, I thought that I would have been a bit more tired than I was. Bright-eyed after a mere half-hour of sleep is quite the rarity for someone like my anti-morning self. However, I mustn’t fail to mention that extra-large iced coffee with a double shot of espresso. I was indeed, running on Dunkin’.

So now that you have been informed of the source of my alertness, let me explain what exactly this endeavor entails.

A weekend trip to Los Angeles, California is any second-semester-senior’s ideality. This trip is an incredible opportunity not only for adventure, but also for professional experience. The basis of this trip revolves around the annual Associated Collegiate Press Conference where we learn to better our writing, expand our creativity, and engage with some of the most successful individuals of the journalism world. Merely one of the many pros of being a Communications/Sports Journalism major at Springfield College.

We are the types of people who operate on freedom of speech and freedom of press. We are the journalists who are ethically informed; the supporters of the public’s right to know. We are the young adults who resent the recent censorship. We are the storytellers of the future, and we continue to learn to become better in every way.

During our time at the Associated Collegiate Press Conference, we attended sessions, keynotes and roundtable discussions where we were connected with fellow student writers and prospective employers.

The sessions that felt the most important were the critiques. During this session we were given the opportunity to sit down with a professional editor to pick apart an issue of The Springfield Student. We expected a harsh and honest truth about our paper and seeing as we are a small, 16-paged weekly newspaper, we anticipated some massive markups. But what we received, however, was a rather pleasant surprise.

The editor first pointed out our strengths, commenting on her enjoyment of our weekly section, Athletes of the Week, and praising us on the crispness of our visuals. She then went on to give us some criticism, highlighting our need to improve on layout uniformity and photo flattery.

This type of constructive criticism is something that we truly appreciated as a team. It helped guide us editors to a larger discussion on how to improve and assist in making paste-up a whole lot less time consuming. Our organizational skills certainly needed some attention, and we have already put in a plan of action for the weeks to come.

The sessions were truly beneficial to our cohesiveness, and will further assist us in the timeliness and precision of the entire weekly process.

During our down time, we were able to experience the surrounding town of Universal City. We bonded as a group and went out together, further strengthening the cohesiveness of our club. We became better acquainted with each other and embraced this newfound openness.

Honored to have been given this incredible opportunity, we took the experience by the horns and delved deep, welcoming new knowledge and a better appreciation for our future profession. We made memories together and formed unbreakable connections, and will be forever grateful of each other and the Springfield College newspaper club for providing us with the tools to become better and further succeed as we seniors wave goodbye to the place where we became ourselves.

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