Apr. 6, 2009  

SPJ Region 3 Convention – An Unconventional Success

Convention Resume SessionWhat’s “fair use,” and when can I use a photo from MySpace in a story? How much emphasis should I put on certain words when I report on camera? Do I have enough experience listed on my resume? What’s it like to be a journalist in countries that deny civil liberties? These questions and many, many more were answered at this year’s Society of Professional Journalist’s Region 3 Convention, a.k.a. Unconventional ’09. The event, co-sponsored by the Florida College Press Association (FCP), drew journalism students, educators, and professional from the Southeastern U.S. to Hollywood, Florida for two days of learning, networking, and fun.

While Unconventional ’09 had some conventional moments — including SPJ and FCP board meetings, the unconventional ruled. Attendees participated in an Ethics Hold’em poker tournament on Friday, April 3rd. The goal of this card game wasn’t really to win chips but to review journalism ethics. And, on Saturday, April 4th, sessions with experts like Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center and Connie Hicks of Barry University were unconventionally balanced with what convention organizer Michael Koretzky of the South Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and Florida Atlantic University dubbed a “violent lunch.” The lunch offered convention attendees a taste of the “First Amendment Free Food Festivals” that many college SPJ chapters are hosting on their campuses. Only convention attendees who agreed to sign away their civil rights could eat. Finally, on the evening of April 4th, about 50 convention attendees took charge of the Homeless Voice newspaper. They wrote, edited, shot, and designed a special issue of the paper, which is published in Broward County, Florida.

Look for more information about Unconventional ’09 to appear on the SPJ Region 3 website.

Here are more photos from the event:

Frank Lomonte

Convention Program

Welcome SPJ Sign

Video Seminar with Connie Hicks

Alana Roberts Signs Away Rights

Silenced Journalist

Attendees in Writing Seminar

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