LAS VEGAS– Greetings from the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” Nevada’s most populous city and the home for the annual gathering of the nation’s largest and most broad-based organization of journalists.
For educators like me, it is always a challenge to stop in the middle of the semester in order to come to an Society of Professional Journalists annual convention,which occurs usually in late September or early October.
But, once we get here and start having exchanges with the hundreds of journalists who attend and taking in the dozens of professional development sessions, it makes the interruption all worth it. And, our journalism students are better for it. This year, at least two of those students from Alabama will be here.
Besides attending to the business of Society (something you kind of have to do as a national board member) there are at least FIVE (5) goals I have for myself at this SPJ Convention, my second such gathering here in Vegas:
1. Meet -up with our SPJ 2010 attendees who send Tweets
While I’ve been on Twitter for almost two years, I’ve never been to a Tweet-up. And, there’s word that we might have one on Monday night.
2. See what the latest thinking is about mobile
The biggest addition my journalism teaching this semester is this thing called “mobile,” or helping students learn how to produce news and information on mobile device while considering the end user as receiving his/her news on such mobile devices. I’m looking forward to hearing some of the presenters like Mark Luckie, Rob Curley and Kerry Northrup
3. Visit the Las Vegas Media
Sometimes the best parts of going to a professional development gathering like an SPJ convention is the chance to see what other media are doing. Lord willing, I want to check out the studios at CBS affiliate KLAS-TV and the Las Vegas Review Journal, both off-sites that are scheduled this week.
After using his great online book, Journalism 2.0, Mark Briggs has released JournalismNEXT, a handbook that has already informed my students’ learning about such things as Cascading Style Sheets, gearheads and the fact that “We are All Web workers.”
5. Connect with the Native American Journalists Association
Also, this week, we will have the leadership of Native American Journalists Association visiting our gathering. I’m hoping we’ll become acquainted with some of the challenges we’re facing in covering Native communities and strategies for improvement.
It’ll be a great week. I hope to be live blogging (and perhaps vlogging) and posting updates from here at The Planet Hollywood throughout the next four days.