CSPA fall conference expands journalism knowledge

Through multiple sessions hosted by journalists and yearbook specialists, CSPA’s fall conference aimed to teach students more about the world of journalism. The conference was on Columbia University’s campus located in Manhattan, N.Y.


Amanda Hill

Tips and tricks…Presenting a slideshow at CSPA’s Fall Conference, freelance journalist Lauren Mack hopes to help journalism students take high quality pictures for their publications. Mack presented this slideshow during her session titled “Foodie Fundamentals | Food Writing 101” on November 7.

To create a new generation of journalists ready to succeed in their future endeavors, speakers gathered at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s (CSPA) fall conference to teach informational sessions for students and advisers on November 7.
CSPA holds a fall conference on the Columbia University campus for students and advisers of scholastic publications, including newspapers, yearbooks and literary magazines.
Twenty-six Arrowhead staff members, along with Arrowhead adviser Stacey Aronow, attended the conference.
The conference consisted of more than 80 sessions hosted by professionals in their respective fields.
These sessions were on topics ranging from how to conduct an interview to where you can find a job in the journalism field.
One of the speakers at the conference, University of Oklahoma College of Journalism professor emerita Laura Schaub, taught sessions regarding the production of newspapers.
Schaub desired for attendees of her sessions to experience growth in their journalism expertise.
“I hope the students left with greater knowledge of the different aspects of the visual side of journalism. I hope they will use their new-found knowledge in creating outstanding print designs and video stories,” Schaub said.
Herff Jones yearbooks publishing representative Kara Sterner also hoped to teach attendees more about the virtual side of journalism through her session titled “Socially Speaking.”
“I feel like [social media] is a space that not a lot of staffs are really diving into,” Sterner said. “We felt like this was an area that needed some attention.”
Sterner believes that her role in the conference allows students to take in her advice.
“Sometimes it takes an outsider to see potential and help [students] find their voice and speak on something they’re really excited about,” Sterner said.
Newspaper reporter Matthew Chayes also wanted to cover topics previously untouched in his sessions. “Digging Up Secrets” and “Don’t be boring: Writing Good Ledes.”
“I looked through scholastic newspapers for what, in my view, was missing most and tailored the sessions to address those gaps,” Chayes said.
Staff writer Riley Roach, who writes for North Penn High School’s newspaper The Knight Crier attended “Digging Up Secrets” and found the information useful.
“I learned a lot about how to have a good, in-depth interview and how to know where to look for documents that you may need in an article,” Roach said.
Freelance journalist Lauren Mack presented a session at the conference.
One of her main goals while presenting was to build relationships with students and advisers.
“I wanted to present engaging talks that offered practical advice and tips and make connections with attendees,” Mack said. “One of my favorite aspects of the conference is meeting student journalists and advisors and helping them achieve their goals.”
Roach also attended one of Mack’s sessions titled “Build Your Brand” and agreed with what she had to say.
“I liked that I got to meet a lot of people my age and also make connections with some of the speakers,” Roach said.
According to Roach, the conference offered a “good look” at what college life would be like and helped to eliminate some of her nerves regarding attending college.