Armed with real advice and fake news, SPJ Florida board members traveled to New York City last month to educate young minds at the 2018 College Media Advisors Spring Convention.

Representing the chapter, Vice President of Programming Emily Bloch, Board of Directors member Michele Boyet and Student Representative Kerri-Marie Covington presented sessions on a range of topics from leadership and music journalism to social media and SEO. The team also presented one of SPJ Florida’s signature events, the Fake News Game Show.

The four-day annual conference offered more than 250 sessions to nearly 1,200 students from around the country.

While there, Bloch, Boyet and Covington also collaborated with SPJ Region 3 Director Michael Koretzky to help organize sessions in two SPJ dedicated rooms—which included sessions by SPJ national’s Immediate Past President Lynn Walsh and Ethics Chair Andrew Seaman.

The SPJ Florida team also served as advisors and judges for Iron Reporter, CMA’s on-site journalism contest.

Here’s a rundown of SPJ Florida sessions:

Fake News Game Show

Speaker: Emily Bloch

Think you can recognize fake news when you see it? We’re betting you can’t. Pluck the fake news from the real news and win cash and prizes. But you only have 30 seconds to do it. After each round, we’ll show you how to spot the subtle (and not-so-subtle) clues that you can use for the rest of your life – because it doesn’t seem like fake news is going away anytime soon.

Women’s Work: Ruling the Media

Speakers: Bloch, Boyet and Covington were joined by Lynn Walsh and two former SPJ Florida board members
In a media world where most workers are women and most leaders are men, how do you deal with your boss? How do you become a boss yourself? How do you become your own boss? These women – a new pro reporter, a current college editor, and four pro media veterans – lead a discussion with the audience on how to walk a fine line while kicking down doors.

Brand Me: Mastering Social Media to Brand Yourself

Speaker: Michele Boyet

Using social media correctly means more than figuring out how to say something in 140 characters. What you say online affects your personal brand, your newsroom, and your next job. Take an interactive look at how to properly use social media—and how to get results. You’ll leave with 10 steps and five strategy tips to go build an awesome personal brand.

 

How to Cover a Music Festival Before You’re Old Enough to Drink at One

Speaker: Emily Bloch

Yes, you can cover 13 bands in eight hours. You can interview musicians and not get lame answers. You can write a review before your first caffeine buzz wears off and a detailed preview for the next day without staying up all night. Learn how to plan your day (and even the best times to eat) from a young reporter who’s covered festivals for major publications.

Dealing with Your Dysfunctional Staff

Speakers: Michele Boyet & Kerri-Marie Covington

A student media staff is a collection of misfits – the one who won’t shut up, the one who won’t speak up, the sports editor who proclaims all news is boring, the A&E editor who insists your music sucks. Problem is, EICs treat them all the same, and it doesn’t work. Learn a better way. Bring your problems, we got answers.

 

I’m Sick, Not Stupid

Speaker: Kerri-Marie Covington

Student media is an unhealthy place to work: stressful deadlines, long hours, late nights. If you already have a disability or chronic illness, you often wonder if you can endure the work – and the judgments. Do you say something? What? When? Join students who have faced these issues for an informal and confidential discussion.

SEO When You’re SOL

Speaker: Michele Boyet

You know Search Engine Optimization is crucial for finding new readers. But SEO is also a career unto itself — and not the one you want. How can busy journalists optimize both their SEO and their time? If all you know about SEO and web promotion is what you’ve Googled, here are proven techniques and efficient shortcuts specifically for journalists.

Free Money For Editors & Advisors
Speaker: Emily Bloch

Get a micro-grant for the asking—if you’ll beat up a rabbi, fake a death, interview a zombie, eat a halal lunch in a mosque, publish a newspaper without computers or intentionally violate SPJ’s Code of Ethics. You’ll not only receive cash but also free help with all the boring logistics.

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