My second round at the College Media Association

The Agora recently went to New York City for the College Media Association’s national event.

A bike rental station sits closed during winter March 2019.

The annual trip helps staff members of the Agora learn new skills, meet professionals from the country’s biggest news organizations and discuss college media with students from across the country.

Last year the event was amazing as I learned so many new things.

I can say the same for this year’s trip, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The College Media Association kept guests informed of the developing situation and had our health and wellness as it’s top priority. Extra safety precautions were put in place such as limiting event pamphlet handouts to those who asked and increasing hand sanitize stations.

To say the conference went as scheduled would by lying.

Many of the workshops were cancelled at some point. Of the cancellations was the original keynote speaker for March 12.

But because of many professionals and emergency call ins, the event continued to provide us with information and insightful presentations.

Thankfully, journalist Sreenath Sreenivasan stepped in as the keynote speaker by conducting a video call from his home.

Sreenivasan presented on how to engage in social media as journalists to gain a stronger following. This and his use of video call, showed how technology can be a great tool during a time of crisis.

I tweeted Sreenivasan during the event thanking him for the great presentation and advice. He liked the tweet moments after the keynote event ended.

It was really cool!

A New York City Police Department SUV sits on the side of the road in New York City March 2019.

Professionals at the event picked up additional workshops to convey other topics they were knowledgeable in and continued seminars for students and advisers.

During a workshop on documentary and film making, I was able to see example videos from other student media groups and was told what to focus on when creating one.

Quality is great, but the focus should be on what new angles the product can focus on. That is what sets apart good documentaries from great documentaries.

The presenter also said to enter work into whatever contest you can, noting his school won close to $10,000 after spending around $500 on entrance fees.

With all the hard work of Sreenivasan and others, the event was still a success despite the dire situation they were put in.

My takeaway from this year’s trip is small college publications, like the Agora, need to advance with technology and expand how they operate to incorporate more media avenues. Working to engage in the community off campus also is a must.