Collegiate press conference attendee gives thoughts on journalism

Olivia P. Tucker

As a student journalist, I’m always trying to figure out ideas for The Trailblazer. I also personally try to figure out ways to improve myself, knowing that someday I’ll have to go into the workforce with what knowledge I’ve gained from my college experiences.

I had the opportunity to do so at the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) Conference on April 7 in Indianapolis.

When I first heard this conference as an opportunity, I knew that I had to give it a chance. I’ve let so many opportunities in the past slip by and I wasn’t going to allow this one to do the same.

I was honored with the privilege to go, which I was happy to be able to represent VU as one of the students that attended.

The first talk I attended had to do with working with public records as an investigative reporter. This allowed me a refresher from everything I most recently learned in my own classes at VU.

However, I didn’t just learn about ways to access information through a federal level, I got to learn and understand ideas about it at a state level as well.

I also learned that building relationships is super important, as well as making sure that facts are straight so that a certain trust is built.

I hope to be able to use these skills so that I can do that and be able to show that I am willing to put in the research before making any sort of request on public records.

The second talk I got to attend was learning how to balance the difference between being a human and being a journalist on personal accounts on social media.

Some journalists take pride in their work, but at the same time they’re allowed to be human.

In my opinion, being human is allowing yourself to be who you are and not giving in to being something that one really isn’t.

A journalist can still express themselves: one cool way to do so is show the process of what they are working on.

According to Allison Carter, the assistant digital director of the Indianapolis Star, a journalist shouldn’t be afraid to show off the “journalistic process.”

Now that the ICPA conference is over and I have reflected on everything, I learned so much and witnessed others who were just like me: students training to be in the media world through journalism.

What I took away from this experience was how to be a better journalist and a way to think outside of the box, which I will openly admit I don’t do that enough.

The truth is, I gained an understanding that I’m allowed to be curious, for that curiosity can lead to a story newsworthy enough for the people to know.

I used to say I was a journalist in training, but from my experience at the conference, I walked away truly feeling like I am a journalist: a journalist who is one step closer to accomplishing my goals I have set before me.