Moorpark Reporter staff attends the Spring 2022 ACP National College Media Conference

Members of the Moorpark Reporter pose for a picture at the ACP conference hotel in Long Beach, CA on March 5, 2022. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Members of the Moorpark Reporter pose for a picture at the ACP conference hotel in Long Beach, CA on March 5, 2022. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Shahbano Raza

This past weekend, students in Moorpark College’s Digital Journalism program attended an in-person national college media conference, held in Long Beach, California.

This was the first time in two years that the Associated Collegiate Press Spring National Media Conference was held in person. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, previous conferences were held over virtual conference platforms.

The three-day event was hosted by ACP in partnership with the California College Media Association and the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.

The conference commenced on Thursday, March 3 with an array of workshops for attendees to choose from. Students were able to use an app called Whova to navigate through the numerous agenda items for the conference.

Some workshops that took place that day include “Multi-platform storytelling,” hosted by Doug Smith from the Los Angeles Times as well as “Writing a great opinion piece,” hosted by Larry Wilson from the Southern California News Group.

The keynote speech for that day was titled “The South Los Angeles homeless project.” In this presentation, Tom Curwen and Francine Orr, award-winning journalists for the Los Angeles Times, showcased their work in covering the homelessness issue in Los Angeles.

The presentation encouraged student journalists in the room to listen and be present when they are chasing their stories, especially for those stories that are sensitive in nature. Curwen and Orr also stressed that journalists need to take care of their mental and physical health, particularly when covering time-intensive and emotionally-draining dilemmas like homelessness.

Other keynote events and a multitude of workshops continued throughout Friday and Saturday. Award ceremonies took place Friday and Saturday evenings to commemorate the work pushed out by the attending publications and individuals who participated in on-the-spot contests offered throughout the conference.

When students weren’t attending presentations or networking with sponsoring institutions, they had the opportunity to roam the beachside city and enjoy its variety of food options and serene viewpoints.

Spring media conferences, such as the recent one in Long Beach, appeal to a national and broader audience. In the fall, journalism students at Moorpark College attend a more regional event, hosted by JACC.

This coming fall, the JACC conference is expected to be in-person, this time in Fullerton, California.

For more information on JACC click here.