ACP (Associated Collegiate Press) Conference 2023: Peer-to-Peer Learning in Action

March 13, 2023

The value of peer-to-peer learning was clearly and beautifully on display Friday afternoon during the second day of the three-day ACP (Associated Collegiate Press) 2023 Annual Spring Conference here in San Francisco. San Francisco Chronicle breaking-news reporter Jordan Parker was describing his one-year transition from being a reporter and editor for his university paper in Sacramento to being an intern with the Chronicle to accepting full-time employment at that publication less than a year after graduation (while also considering an offer from a Sacramento-area television station).

Jordan Parker

Collegiate journalists in the audience, after a couple of days of hearing wonderful presenters encourage them to follow their passion for journalism while also citing the familiar statistics about the decline of print publications and jobs within mainstream media organizations, finally were hearing a success story from someone their own age. And it clearly made a difference, as one audience member told me after the session ended.

It’s not as if the speakers I heard at the conference were anything less than encouraging. Santa Rosa Press-Democrat Executive Editor Rick Green, during an inspirational and highly energetic keynote address Thursday evening, provided a passionate, engaging call to action reminding conference attendees of the importance of what they do, and he reminded them that the 45 words comprising the First Amendment were among the most important guiding us. Odette Alcazaren-Keeley (director of the Maynard 200 journalism fellowship program of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education), during her own keynote address Friday, did a fantastic job of reminding student journalists of the challenges they face and the important role they play: “Student journalism is local journalism.”  

But it did—and does—make a difference for these collegiate journalists to be shoulder to shoulder with someone who has successfully made the leap from the positions they hold as near-term job-seekers to fully employed journalists: “Journalism itself is not dying. This industry has opportunities if you take a chance and put yourself out there,” he reminded them as he described the various skills—web design, search engine optimization, social media management—that can connect applicants to media outlets. And the excitement in the students’ voices clearly showed how encouraged they felt as they listened to this peer describe opportunities they are eager to pursue.

Parker’s session Friday afternoon offered a first-rate complement to San Francisco State University Journalism Faculty Advisor Laura Moorhead’s “Striking a Balance: Meeting Student Needs in a Changing Profession” session (Thursday afternoon), during which she offered tremendous insights into what media employers seek from prospective employees. It also offered tremendous ongoing learning opportunities far beyond what collegiate journalists find through the work they do on campus: “A first-year job…it’s interesting. Sometimes I feel like I‘m learning on the job…At the same time, you get your own freedom” to pursue stories that are interesting, he told audience members.

He also provided a glimpse of what some of us recognize to be the lifelong learning environments in which we continue to improve our skills over a very long period of time by working alongside people with more experience than we have acquired: “I like to pick the brains of the veterans in the newsroom…It’s kind of like a crash course.”

Returning to that theme near the end of his session, Parker reiterated a point well worth hearing from a peer: “I’m still learning how to write…I don’t have all the skills yet.” And that is clearly a point any of us in training-teaching-learning needs to remember to make: we are often only one step ahead of those who are coming to us for help, and we can encourage them by letting them understand we are right there with them as co-conspirators and peers in the learning process.

ACP (Associated Collegiate Press) Conference 2023: Developing Careers

March 10, 2023

For those of us completely immersed in our (third or fourth or fifth) careers, it’s eye-opening to sit through a session on what employers are seeking in today’s job market. Which is why the first session I attended at the three-day ACP (Associated Collegiate Press) 2023 Annual Spring Conference here in San Francisco was such a fascinating experience.

San Francisco State University Journalism Faculty Advisor Laura Moorhead’s superb no-olds-barred approach to telling students in her “Striking a Balance: Meeting Student Needs in a Changing Profession” session what they face in seeking internships and jobs addressed the situation in our rapidly evolving journalism environment—a situation captured nicely at the collegiate level in a publication I read recently from the Student Press Law Center (“Nothing Is Going Back to the Way It Was: Creating Economic Sustainability for college News Organizations in 2020 and Beyond”) and in Jill Lepore’s “Does Journalism Have a Future?” piece in the January 28, 2019 issue of The New Yorker. And it also, without doing so overtly, served as a primer for anyone thinking about applying for work in a very competitive market by reminding us how much has changed in terms of how employers approach the hiring process.

The long-held belief that our résumé is our initial calling card took a bit of a beating when Moorhead told students that media employers first want to see your portfolio—preferably online. And then “you will be Googled, Slacked, and views on LinkedIn and social media….No one we talked to cared what your résumé looked like.” It’s all about the published clips you have acquired through hard work and creativity; they are looking to see how you pursue  stories, not what technology or social media platforms you have mastered, she said.

Some of the skills sought by media representatives carry over into many other industries my colleagues and I serve through the training-teaching-learning opportunities we design and facilitate: teamwork and collaboration; flexibility, follow-through, engagement, and effective use of social media. But it involves far more than simply saying you are active on social media or can make great videos—it’s what you do with those “basic skills” that separates you from the numerous other candidates with whom you are competing in our extremely competitive job market.

“A good clip can trump other weaknesses in an application,” she has heard from her media contacts. They also look for awards you have garnered and elements of diversity you bring to a workplace.

In another example of skills that go beyond what applicants for internships and jobs often overlook, she mentioned that a candidate’s ability to take feedback and to respond effectively to uncomfortable topics makes that candidate very appealing.

There was—and is—plenty for an applicant to absorb from what Moorhead offered. And there is, notably, plenty for any of us involved in training-teaching-learning and lifelong learning to absorb—and share with those we serve—a great reminder that as we foster learning, we learn along with our learners. And everyone is the better for having traveled that road together.

Building Creative Bridges

Training Learning Collaboration Innovation


librarians who dare to do different


Training Learning Collaboration Innovation

Harold Jarche

Training Learning Collaboration Innovation


Training Learning Collaboration Innovation

Counsellor Talk : Creative Collaborative Connections

Celebrating Life. Making positive connections and collaborating with people from around the world. Living everyday with positive energy, possibility, passion and peace of mind. Learning from a School Counsellor lens. I'm not a Counsellor because I want to make a living. I am a Counsellor because I want to make a difference. Gratitude for ETMOOC roots.

Digitization 101

Training Learning Collaboration Innovation

David Lee King

social media | emerging trends | libraries is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: