Peace Times Staff Take in State Media Conference

Peace Times Staff at conference reading newspapers

William Peace University’s Peace Times staff writers and editors attended the N.C. College Media Association Conference at NC State University on Feb. 24, where they learned more about journalism and media and brought home a few awards.   
Various colleges throughout NC, including Peace, submitted articles to be judged on. During the conference, the winners were announced and the Peace Times left with three honorable mentions. Breanna Cary won for Sports Writing for her story “A Grand Slam Ending.” Cole Greene won for Opinion Writing for “Bladerunner 2049 Review.” And Marty Evans and Dean Willms won for Digital Storytelling for their joint text and video project titled “When Living is the Only Option.”
The speakers throughout the conference were experienced journalists and communications specialists and work for places such as The News & Observer, WRAL, NC State, and various radio stations as well as art programs and organizations in the area.
At the beginning of the conference, there was a panel of five people who work within the arts in the triangle as journalists and media directors. “The Battle for Local Arts Coverage” was the topic of discussion during the panel session. Mike Williams,the managing editor of Triangle Today, was the moderator during the panel discussion.
The panelists included Charles Phaneuf, executive director at Raleigh Little Theatre, Mary Kay Kennedy, development and communications associate of Artspace, and Justin Laidlaw, communications and media director of RUNAWAY.
Mary Kennedy suggested that when writing for the arts, it is important to build relationships within the community and expanding the knowledge of art as well as considering how the exhibition is creating a dialogue within the community.
“I want them to share our message, but I also want to be in charge of the content,” said Kennedy when talking about how important it is to pay attention to social media interactions. “I want to provide the community with knowledge and importance of that art. I want people who follow us to get other opinions and facts because being knowledgeable on a subject is most important to me.”
Charles Phaneuf also had an important message for journalism students.
“The way we approach and create art is about society and that’s the root of it. It is most important for a journalist to come in and write about what we’re doing that relates to the world,” said Phaneuf. “Putting information and stories out there to make the world a better place is what journalists aspire to be,” said Williams.
After the panel session, there were different sessions to choose from that provided important information within journalism and media. In one of the sessions, other college news and media staff talked about how their newspaper staff works and the strategies behind writing.
Some of the media and news groups that talked about their college news included Elon University, Appalachian State University, NC State, and East Carolina University. Learning about what other college media and news staff are doing within their campus, was an enriching experience and valuable for the Peace Times staff.
One of the topics that was specifically highlighted at the conference was “Design Thinking: Applying the Design Thinking Process On Your Campus.” It was stated that only 42 percent of Americans trust the media and design thinking pushes for more trust.
Design thinking helps in building trust by listening and having empathy for our community and hearing what the public has to say. Design thinking is important for journalism today because it allows flexibility for quick changing conditions, builds for the future, is focused on the users and not ourselves, and gives a common framework to work together.
As the conference was coming to a close, the Peace Times newspaper and website had the opportunity to get critiqued. Not only was this whole day filled with education about journalism and media, but learning what the Peace Times could do to improve was a valuable experience.

Leave a comment