Student Leadership

Session: Managing the Chaos From a Business Manager’s Point of View

Verdict: Mangers unite! This one’s a keeperChase Fitzgerald, Editor-in-Chief

Have a newsroom where everyone is serving someone else –even the Editor-in-Chief. This is the statement that Witherspoon was trying to get past everyone.

Witherspoon was a rowdy, charismatic man with an effective way to get his message across. If you don’t like being called upon, however, I’d hide away your name tag and stick next to the well-because he will call you out.

I am a Business major, Editor-in-Chief, terrible writer and someone who wants to achieve a good management background. Witherspoon called out a few EICs who have given up writing in order to do some management, which made me feel good because I just wanted to step into management without the writing.

Witherspoon’s management styles dealt with hierarchy. He said that my job as EIC was to only make sure my Managing Editor was happy; in turn, the Managing Editor was to make the section editors happy and the section editors make reporters happy. Thus, everyone’s happy.

The only thing missing from Witherspoon’s session was a discussion on collaboration. Yeah, everyone is happy on the writer’s side, but what about designers and photographers? There was little mention of either.

I’d like to think that everyone who attended this session left it with confidence. Witherspoon instilled his listener with hope and a “you can do it, too” attitude. My recommendations for this one are high.

From the Communication Major’s Point of View Verdict: Flipping AwesomeBy Ashley Roth, Photo Editor

Mark Witherspoon is the shit. He cursed a lot. He said it wasn’t to offend anyone, but rather to make a point or just because it’s fun. That’s what this session was — fun. He called out people to use as examples or to answer his questions that no matter what you said you had the wrong answer to. He asked what kind of editor’s were present. I was the only photo editor.

I felt like a lot of his commentary was directed to an editor in chief or a managing editor, but he definitely had a lot of wisdom to share. I feel like I can start thinking less about problems and more about solutions in the newsroom. The thing that stuck out the most for me was when Witherspoon said that the first step in succeeding is to decide that you want to be excellent. After sitting in on this session I feel more confident in my role as an editor and plan on taking the steps to prove that I can be excellent at it.

Session: Can the Blind lead the Blind? Verdict: Great for some of us…By Mike Yacobellis, News Editor

Advisor Kaylene Armstrong from Brigham Young University offered editors of all levels help in their strive for a better publication. She was dealing with twice the room the Dupont room offers on the Terrace Level, yet she handled the crowd good and forcefully- just not with enough fliers.

Some editors face the problem of being in charge of their friends — where do you draw the line between friendship and coworker becomes an issue. There is also the problem of young editors and editors with social problems that may interfere with the job. The main topic of her session became explaining that journalists are the worst communicators in the communication business.

Armstrong offered a chance for new editors to speak with each other on these issues as well as speaking about her personal experiences at the college newspaper. If you were lucky enough to get a packet, you could have that information on hand.