Sense of Place

The Society of Professional Journalists hosted the annual conference in New Orleans these past few days. It was a meeting of journalists of old, young, print, broadcast and online.
No one (who could pay the registration fee) was turned away. Students met and mingled with seasoned journalists; seasoned reporters learned new ideas from students.
The sessions were split up in near-hour increments.
Sunday was the first “super session.” Soledad O’Brien hosted with John Cochran. John, a seasoned ABC reporter, interviewed Soledad in front of everyone. It didn’t seem like a real interview as much as a forced conversation between two folks who didn’t really know each other.
The following night didn’t have any sessions other than the reception. Cocktails were served, and folks really mingled. After that, I left and walked up Bourbon Street with my sister. The next day (Monday for those keeping track) I went to my first “real” session: “Writing that works online.” Victoria Lim, a former WFLA reporter presented; she worked at WFLA with Rod Carter. Carter taught at the NABJ short course at FAMU.
Being in a convention center (the Sheraton on Canal Street) with other people who love journalism like I do really made me feel connected. I didn’t expect to be so well received.
Today’s sessions were also fantastic. It really was a great opportunity to meet and network with people from all over the country.


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