Communications students, faculty attend Excellence in Journalism Conference

Associate Professors Anthony Hatcher and Rich Landesberg accompanied four student journalists to Louisiana to attend workshops highlighting journalism, technology and social media.

Four student journalists and two faculty members in the School of Communications attended the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Conference held Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans, La. Accompanying Associate Professors Anthony Hatcher and Rich Landesberg were journalism majors Ashley Bohle ’17, Jackie Pascale ’18 and Alex Simon ’17, and English major Hannah Silvers ’17.

The Elon University contingent at the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Conference included (from left) Associate Professor Anthony Hatcher, Ashley Bohle ’17, Jackie Pascale ’18, Hannah Silvers ’17, Alex Simon ’17 and Associate Professor Rich Landesberg. Photo courtesy of Hatcher
​The student journalists serve in several leadership positions in the recently formed Elon News Network (ENN), the merged student news organization of The Pendulum and Elon Local News. Bohle is the organization’s news director; Pascale is president of Elon’s Society of Professional Journalists and ENN’s lead assignment manager; Hannah Silvers is ENN’s managing editor; and Alex Simon is the network’s sports director.

Over the course of two days, the Elon contingent of students and faculty attended numerous workshops conducted by professionals in the fields of technology, social media, and print, online and broadcast journalism. Session titles included “Free Newsroom Tools for Taming the Real-Time Internet;” “Will It Podcast? Audio Content Development for All;” “Race, Religion and Politics: Avoiding Stereotypes and Leading Community Conversation;” and “Collegiate Student Journalists Under Fire.”

Highlights of the conference were Super Sessions featuring Washington Post Editor Marty Baron, “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose, and Jeff Marks, former president and general manager of WDBJ7 in Roanoke, Va., where two of his employees were murdered while conducting a morning news live shot in 2015.

Journalism major Jackie Pascale ’18 (left) met Washington Post Editor Marty Baron while in New Orleans. 
​Baron was editor of The Boston Globe when the newspaper’s investigative Spotlight team exposed the extent of the Roman Catholic Church pedophilia scandal, garnering a Pulitzer Prize for its work. The newspaper was the subject of the Academy Award-winning film “Spotlight,” in which Baron was portrayed by actor Liev Schreiber.

Rose, a North Carolina native, is a veteran journalist who has worked for CBS News in various capacities and has hosted a public affairs talk show on PBS since 1991. Rose and “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Nora O’Donnell welcomed Elon in New York students on the morning show set during summer 2014. Michael Radutzky, senior producer of “60 Minutes” as well as chair of the Elon School of Communications Advisory Board, arranged the tour of CBS News.

Since 2011, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) have partnered to host an annual conference that provides journalists with the industry’s best training and networking opportunities. The event was named the Excellence in Journalism (EIJ) Conference in order to provide an opportunity for other organizations to partner with SPJ and RTDNA. Following five successful EIJ conferences, SPJ and RTDNA welcomed the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) as a collaborator in 2016.

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