A changing news media was the theme at the regional Society of Professional Journalists conference in Lory Student Center Saturday, where CSU’s Student Media won 16 Mark of Excellence Awards.
CSU’s chapter of SPJ sponsored and organized the even that attracted students from states across the region, including Utah and Wyoming.
Six awards went to CTV for sports reporting and photography.
The Collegian won nine for writing, photography and the overall newspaper, while KCSU’s Nick Sebesta was recognized for radio sports reporting.
“It’s great because it really shows how much work we’ve put in,” said Keri Lenderink, a CTV reporter who shared a first place award with Ben Brune. “It’s great to be recognized.”
Organizer Holly Wolcott, an assistant director of Student Media and Collegian adviser, said the multimedia theme and the quality of the presenters were big attractions at this year’s conference.
“We didn’t think it was gonna be this big,” Wolcott said. “But then it just kind of caught like wildfire.”
“To have someone like Sarah Boxer is hot,” Wolcott said of the keynote speaker, a former New York Times Web critic.
Throughout the day, speakers were consistent in their message: Times have changed in journalism.
“Pity the poor reporter who does not want to blog or ham it up in a pod cast,” Boxer said.
Boxer said the blogging trend in journalism harkens to the old days of news reporting when opinions in newspapers were “right out there.”
“Will we be sitting in an SPB (Society of Professional Bloggers) meeting here in a few years?” a student asked.
Boxer said times are confusing, agreeing with speakers who said the more journalists are capable of, even shooting photos, video and speaking Spanish, the more marketable they’ll be.
Other speakers included, Rocky Mountain News Web reporter Bill Scanlon; KUNC News Director Jim Beers; Josh Lawton of The Boulder Daily Camera on video storytelling; and Bart Smith, publisher of “The Greeley Tribune,” with reporter Mike Peters, who spoke on the editor/reporter relationship.
“If you can do it well and do it all, you are a better journalist,” Lawton said.
Today’s newspaper reporters are often expected to write a story on deadline, file it for the newspaper, post it to the Web, maintain Web updates, and blog on their stories all in a matter of hours.
“It’s a much tougher time to be a reporter than it used to be,” Peters said.
Staff writer Shari Blackman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.