Where can ASC Funding take you? All the way to San Francisco

Heather (second from left) and members of the Crescent staff enjoy the sights in San Francisco.
By Heather DeRosa, Class of 2014

Big things are happening for the George Fox Crescent. We recently launched our own website, gfucrescent.com, back in January, and even more recently got the chance to head to the Association of Collegiate Press Mid-Winter conference in San Francisco to learn about the latest things happening in the field of journalism.

A few months back, our fearless co-editors-in-chief, Chelsea Sowards and Alexis Christopherson, received a flyer from the ACP inviting us to attend the conference. After writing up a proposal to receive funding to attend, we were granted enough money for airfare, hotel costs, the entrance fee to the conference, and transportation to and from the airport. In addition, we also received funding from both the communication and English departments that helped keep our out-of-pocket costs fairly low.

The ACP conference was held at the Westin on Market Street. The five of us girls who shared a room were lucky enough to stay on the 28th floor with a fabulous view of the city. The first night, we explored China Town, went to a local art museum, and then headed back to our hotel to enjoy the comforts of a high class hotel, cable TV and huge comfortable beds.

The next day, we were off early to make the most of the conference. The first session of the day was on investigative reporting. A writer from the San Francisco Chronicle gave us his tips on how to build relationships with sources, and the importance of keeping a source’s identity under wraps when they explicitly ask to be left out of the story. I left the session feeling motivated that this conference was going to be worth it.

For their general session, the ACP brought in Burt Herman, the founder of Storify, to show us his product and inform us on ways that journalism is changing, but how the world still needs journalism. The world will always need someone to piece together facts and present a story that is easy to understand for readers.

The next session was for either editors-in-chief or those who are interested in becoming one. It covered how to be a successful leader of your school’s newspaper. At this session, the speaker gave us tips and tricks on how to not only work well with your staff, to also gain their respect.

The last regular session I attended was a presentation on how to gather facts and information about private colleges and universities, as often government documents are hard to find on private institutions. The session also covered ways to hold yourself accountable when gathering facts on what have the potential to be groundbreaking issues at private universities.

The last session was the break-out session with a pro. I was lucky enough to talk to the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Tim Redmond, and Lila LaHood of the San Francisco Public Press. Both Lila and Tim shared stories about how they got to be where they are today, and how the game has changed for journalists entering the real world. Tim started working the graveyard shift, calling all of the police departments in the area every hour to see if there was any breaking news. He then received his big break, moved through the ranks and eventually became editor-in-chief.

This trip to San Francisco is one of the best experiences I’ve had since starting college. George Fox supported my dreams of becoming a journalist by funding my way (and eight others) to a conference where I gleaned information from some of the best journalists out there. It was a great opportunity that most of us wouldn’t have gotten to experience without the financial assistance and support we received from the university.