The Captain’s Log staff attends D.C. conference

Staff members traveled to our nation’s capitol for the National College Media Convention

During the weekend of Oct. 31 through Nov. 3, I went to Washington, D.C. with other members of The Captain’s Log to attend the National College Media Convention. 

The event is biannual; the College Media Association (CMA) puts on one event every spring in New York City and a fall event in Washington. Some members of our staff have attended the New York City event before, but we had never attended the Washington event. We were all excited to immerse ourselves in more local journalism and learn everything we could from a weekend full of sessions that would help us continue to better our work with the Captain’s Log and possible future careers in media.

On the afternoon of Oct. 31, we departed from the Newport News Amtrak train station and prepared for a four-hour ride to Union Station in Washington. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Washington right in the middle of Washington, D.C., a beautiful and upscale hotel where the conference was held in the building’s lower levels.

Conference attendees were given a myriad of sessions to choose from, and the topics ranged anywhere from feature writing to social media to videography to covering the #MeToo moment. 

No matter what the interests of conference attendees were, there were several sessions that catered to everyone due to the wide variety of options available.

There were three keynote speakers over the course of the weekend: Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post and an investigator on The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team; Nina Totenburg, an NPR legal affairs correspondent; Abby Philip, a reporter on multiple presidential campaigns and staff members from the Capital Gazette. 

Each of them imparted valuable advice to the next generation of journalists who are excited to get out into the field after they graduate college.

In the conference levels of the hotel, there was a boardroom filled with tables of representatives from different journalism graduate schools, a silent auction table and tables with different sponsors of the conference

 In the hallways that led to the different conference session rooms, poster boards were displayed with award-winning photographs on them.

It was great for our staff to be able to connect with other college students from all over the country who are also studying journalism and communications and to see what kinds of media they were involved in on campus. 

The intimate settings of many of the sessions let us connect with each other and make some new friends who were in the same type of organization as we were.

While we were in Washington, we had some free time to explore the city in between sessions. Ashley McMillan, The Captain’s Log’s A&E section editor, and I visited the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue on Sunday, our last day in the city before we left on a train back to Newport News.

The museum has six floors all dedicated to various different aspects of journalism, such as the First Amendment, broadcast journalism, artifacts from major moments in history, front pages from newspapers around the world which are updated every day and a memorial for journalists who were killed in action. 

The Newseum is slated to close by the end of the year, so we were lucky to be able to visit it one last time and take lots of pictures to remember it by.

The staff members of The Captain’s Log who embarked on this exciting and educational trip to Washington truly benefited from the experience and from many of the different sessions at the National College Media Convention. 

We learned a lot of valuable skills and insights about the field of journalism, and we know we will continue to build upon them as we keep working within our organization and prepare for future careers in media.

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~

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