ACP 2014 | Mad Dash (with PHOTOS)

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February 28, 2014

Follow Opinions Editor Mackenzie Fargo on Twitter for ACP updates: @m_fargo


I have a headache-type throb behind my left eye from minimal sleep and the strain of having to concentrate but it’s a trade I’m happy to make. This is my first day here at the ACP Conference in San Diego.

As you might’ve read from our Managing Editor Natalie Meier’s post earlier, the weather has been bleak and I do not foresee beach volleyball in my near-future. However, I attended five workshops today (First Amendment rights, design, avoiding plagiarism, social justice journalism, and what to do with the skills we have after graduation) and just came back from hearing the Friday keynote speaker and New York Times editor and contributor, Margaret Sullivan (!).

The Kon Tiki Ballroom before the keynote speaker. (Photo by Mackenzie Fargo)

The Kon Tiki Ballroom before the keynote speaker. (Photo by Mackenzie Fargo)

I have never been in a concentrated space with so many — I’m assuming and it sure seems like it — ambitious and intelligent people. There’s a small population of staff advisors, but mainly it’s the college students here representing themselves and their publications. And it’s little intimidating only because I don’t think I brought enough business casual outfits. That anxiety aside, I feel extremely privileged to be in a space that offers me access to invaluable advice and opportunities for professional connection.

Though I don’t want to be misleading — some people are wearing flip-flops and asking stupid questions (which can be mutually exclusive).

Students browse and swap publications. (Photo by Mackenzie Fargo)

Students browse and swap publications. (Photo by Mackenzie Fargo)

Because today was somewhat of a mad dash, let me take you through some things that stuck with me:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the First Amendment workshop and how it’s applicable to my  life. An example is school policies. For students that attend private colleges (i.e. us), we check our First Amendment rights when we begin our schooling; the school’s policy will dictate the extents of our free speech. However, most students don’t want to go to institutions where they are severely limited. Because universities want students, the majority of private institutions don’t not have policies that vary too much from First Amendment rights. But when policies are vague, they basically the administration (or the powers that be, the Man, etc.) the tools for censorship because there is too much gray-area of what is acceptable and what is not. As students of private institutions, definitely make sure to closely read the free speech policies.

In terms of blossoming careers in journalism, Sullivan, the keynote speaker, stressed three main concepts to keep in mind: 1) As journalists, we cannot be bought with perks or exclusives; it’s our job to work for the public. 2) We must keep integrity, challenge the powerful and do it right. 3) The press isn’t supposed to be buddy-buddy with the powerful but are supposed to employ mechanisms to keep the powerful in check.

She added that hopefully we will have drive and a deep sense of compassion for those who are marginalized and the desire to improve the world in some way.

Students line up to ask Margaret Sullivan questions. (Photo by Mackenzie Fargo)

Students line up to ask Margaret Sullivan questions. (Photo by Mackenzie Fargo)

And with that, I will leave you. Hopefully tomorrow’s weather is less tumultuous and my journalism appetite is just as rapacious. 


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Follow Opinions Editor Mackenzie Fargo on Twitter for ACP updates: @m_fargo

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ACP 2014 | Mad Dash (with PHOTOS) was published on February 28, 2014 in ACP, Blogs, Multimedia, Photos

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