Back from the 2009 MCMA Conference and Awards

For most of us editors and staff members of student run collegiate newspapers across Missouri, we finally feel closure for the amount of time and effort we put into our work when every year the Missouri College Media Association Awards arrive. It’s odd to feel that when you hear you name get called for an award, you finally feel a sense of pride and confidence in yourself, that you don’t quite get after producing the work. It makes it all worth wild for the great work that many of us do.

And so, that brings me to this past weekend, which was the 2009 MCMA Awards in St. Louis. Although I am currently a student at Mizzou, I was there representing STLCC-Meramec because the work I submitted was from when I was working for The Montage. I was glad to be back with my friends from Meramec, I haven’t seen them since I departed in January.

The MCMA conferences began at 8:30 A.M., which was pretty early for me, but I was excited to go to most of the class sessions. The first couple of sessions me and Brett Lohmeyer went to see Erica Smith who is a multimedia and print journalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I was excited to see Smith because I read a recent article about her in the American Journalism Review. Most of the sessions were pretty informal, especially since the first one began at 9:00 A.M. Smith mostly showed us her blog/website and went over websites we should know and creating interactive maps and simple mash-ups. At 11:00 A.M. I decided to switch up the track convergence track I was attending and listened in on the design and photography track.

Dan Gill who I was previously interviewed by the night before, for the the Photojournalist Of the Year Award interview, was the speaker for the session. Dan Gill a regional photojournalist and has worked for the The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Polaris Images, and the Columbia Daily Tribune. Usually with other photography sessions, its mainly about stuff that I already know how to do, composition, styles of shooting, etc. But Gill was different and I enjoyed in immensely. He discussed with us a day in the life basically of him. Gill brought with him a monologue of the his time spent during an assignment on of a breaking story and how photographers need to assist with reporters on the scene. It was very interesting because Gill read to us in utter-detail what he was thinking and doing.

The last session I went to, I knew I had to see. The speaker was Will Sullivan, who is the Interactive Director at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Nerd in Chief of Journerdism. Will pretty much blew most of us away where journalism, technology, and the means of multimedia storytelling are heading. All I have to say is check out and your mind too will be blown away. I suggest watching the first video called Did You Know.

We then had round table discussions in which tables were set up in the ballroom with different areas such as design, photography, online, op-ed, etc. Students were able to sit at tables and meet other students interested in those fields and talk with professionals. Of course I went to the photography table and Dan Gill was there again. I sat at that table talking with Gill for about two hours and it was great to talk to him personally. Myself and others mainly listened to him and his advice and stories.

The time for the awards then finally came, after a very good dinner I might add, and everyone was pretty stoked. The Montage ended up with 26 awards, 12 of which I received! I was a little disappointed that my paper didn’t include some of my photos for photo awards I could have won, but I was just happy that I had such a great time during the class sessions and had the time and experience of meeting some great new people.

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