Washtenaw Voice team travels to ACP/CMA convention in Dallas, Texas

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The Washtenaw Voice news team went to Dallas, Texas for the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention. This yearly convention gives student journalists, designers and photographers a chance to network, learn from experienced professionals and lecturers, and show off their own work for critique.

Dorothy GaciochDorothy Gacioch
Graphic Designer

The week was spent filling our brains with as much information, advice, and inspiration as possible. I returned with several tips and tricks for my tool belt, and am looking forward to implementing new techniques to the paper.

My favorite sessions were led by Charles Apple, deputy design editor of the Houston Chronicle, covering everything from alternative story forms and infographics, to producing powerful front pages and visual “wow” moments in news design.

From this trip, I took away valuable information from all of the sessions, mind-blowing stories from the legendary Bob Schieffer, and tender, smoky memories of the best barbeque I have ever had, and undoubtedly ever will have.

I am appreciative of the many opportunities given to me as a scholarship student of the Washtenaw Voice.

Natalie Jarvie
Graphic Designer

This was full of huge meals, laughs, jokes and so much more. I learned that on a team everyone sticks together no matter what and you can never have too much barbecue. The speakers were a little lacking on the design front; however, there was one on Saturday that was absolutely amazing. His name is Charles Apple (you should look him up sometime) he was funny, smart and you could tell he knew what he was talking about. He taught us about front page layouts, charts, and graphs, and alternative story forms and every one was amazing. This was by far the best part of the trip for me.

Suni Jo RobertsSuni Jo Roberts
Deputy Editor

The National College Media Convention in Dallas was packed full of workshops, food, and getting to know the Voice team better. Bob Schieffer was a highlight as a keynote speaker. He outlined his favorite interviews he had done which included Willie Nelson and Maya Angelou, which was a delight to listen to. Schieffer generously gave out hugs and selfies to the audience which only added to his endearing presence. One workshop I attended was called “Improv your Journalism” which felt especially pertinent to working as a journalist. Although we only played improv games, the takeaway message was to stay present as a journalist and to focus on the person in front of you, instead of their unrelated details.


Andrei Pop
Photo Editor

The ACP/CMA National College Media Convention was held in Dallas this year, and although the weather was chillier than I expected, the city was beautiful and the conference was exciting. While attending the many photography panels offered, it made me realize the importance of photojournalism and its mark on the world. Although photography is constantly evolving and changing, it is important to realize the effects technology has on the newspaper industry and to work with it, rather than criticize it. For example, an iPhone is just another tool at your disposal. In order to run a successful newspaper, you still need amazing and compelling photos. I specifically enjoyed the panels where a professional photographer would show his or her work and just talk about it. I also want to emphasize the importance of the photo editor and their role, but all in all, it is a team effort and I couldn’t do it without the writers, graphic designers, editors, and contributors.

Brittany DekorteBrittany Dekorte

Dallas was an interesting trip; it’s the largest city I’ve ever been to, and the farthest away from home. My biggest take away from the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Dallas came from a talk on Solutions Journalism, given by Holly Wise of Texas State University.  In this talk, Wise spoke on the value of reporting solutions, showing how communities respond to local and social problems, and how other communities can learn from said problems. I hope that before I graduate, I can use this technique within the Washtenaw Voice, writing about what issues are happening at Washtenaw Community College and how other local community colleges are solving similar issues.


Becky Gordon
Staff Writer

Visiting Dallas was an exercise in living with vertigo. Literal and figurative feelings, stemming from being surrounded by skyscrapers and pillars of the journalism community.

Looking up from the street at the skyline and looking to these journalists both skewed my sense of up and down.

Listening to, and being amazed by, Hugh Aynesworth during his recounting of his coverage of JFK’s assassination, and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, was enough to make one dizzy.

The community I found among the ACP attendees was one of mutual love for information, truth, and social responsibility. Being immersed among the incoming generation of journalists was a heady feeling, that has stuck with me back to WCC.

I left the conference with a renewed sense of vigor towards the paper, and a focus on the horizon. Off-kilter no more, the trip will always be a turning point in my education and career.

Haily HastingsHaily Hastings
Digital Editor

The National College Media Convention has taught me a lot about the use of social media, and how important it is for businesses/brands to interact with their followers.

With digital technology always at our fingertips, and such a vast amount of information readily available to us, it is important that businesses engage in social media to promote digital content to their audiences.

By actively engaging in social media, businesses can build an audience and establish their brand. Social media opens a gateway of communication and is a vital tool in building trust with followers. By being active on social media, businesses can promote content on their websites by linking to articles and pages through posts, which can increase readership or product sales.

With so many people spending time on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it makes sense that committing to a social media campaign can provide larger viewership and a strong return on investment.



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