ICCJA Offers Advice and Opportunity



Photo provided by The Bridge
Photo provided by The Bridge
Kelly Rulison
Sports Editor

The Bridge staff attended the Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) on Oct. 8-9 along with several different schools. The conference took place at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in Charleston, Illinois.

At ICCJA, 11 community college newspaper clubs came together to get tips and advice, from each other and professors, that would help make them become better journalists and editors. The conference began with a tour of WEIU-TV, Daily Eastern News, and WEIU-FM, which gave students a chance to see a real news network studio.

Students had their choice of different sessions to choose from during the two days of the conference, such as: Planning Coverage; Writing, Developing Profiles, and Features; Design Essentials; and Sports Writing 101. While students were taking their choice of sessions, the advisors held a meeting to share their input on how they run their newspapers.

I really enjoyed traveling with The Bridge students. We always have such a great time. I am so proud of them,” Bridge Advisor, Louise Jett, said. “Taking the time to speak with students from other institutions was also important to me. Overall, I think it was a great experience for me and the Bridge students.”

“Another highlight of the ICCJA, for me, was talking with other advisors. It was great to get tips and tricks from my peers and compare how we do things to how other colleges are doing them,” said Jett.

In the evening of the first day, there was a dinner for all schools to join and included keynote speakers of professional newspapers, David Porter of the Lebanon Advertiser and Jeff Egbert, publisher of the Pinckneyville Press.

The last event that ICCJA offered was the Best of Show Awards Presentation that was hosted by John Ryan. Every newspaper club got to choose one paper from their archive that they felt was the best and submitted it. The winner for first place was The Observer.  

“One thing I take away from my experience at ICCJA is the knowledge I gained both in and outside of the conference rooms,” Associate Editor of The Bridge, Darick T. Earney said.

Earney continued, “Not only am I grateful to have been given the chance to learn more about writing and journalism, but also to have traveled somewhere new, and meet welcoming strangers who feel the same passion for writing and journalism that I do. It really makes what seems like a business trip feel more like an adventure.”

For more information about ICCJA, contact Joe Gisondi, President of ICCJA, at jgisondi@gmail.com.


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