ASNE-APME 2014 wraps up

These three stories, by two Columbia College Chicago student journalists, wrap up the 2014 ASNE-APME conference. 

From Ferguson to college football: Why news literacy is more important than ever

By Natalie Craig 
Columbia College Chicago

As technology develops and advances at a rapid pace, younger generations are learning to consume media and news in multiple ways, which can at times be problematic for the media and news producers.

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, changed the way some consumed news as more citizen journalists took to Twitter to broadcast what was happening in the town.

Clark Bell, journalism program director for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Chris Peck, assistant editor for The Ranger in Riverton, Wyoming; and Alan C. Miller, CEO of the News Literacy Project spoke about how the digital age has put resources in the hands of more people than just journalists, which has expanded the way news is created, consumed and published.

Women at the top: Moving the conversation forward

By Natalie Craig 
Columbia College Chicago

Men and women joined together Wednesday in the Crystal Ballroom to hear from some of the industry's leading women during the "Women at the Top" panel discussion. The panel consisted of Debra Adams Simmons, vice president of Advance Local; Kathleen Carroll, executive editor for The Associated Press; Kathleen Davis, leadership editor for Fast Company; and Amida Marques Gonzalez, executive editor for the Miami Herald.

For decades, a lack of diversity in race and gender has plagued newsrooms and the journalism industry. The panel discussed their experiences from their early years as journalists and as they worked up to the top spots in their careers.

The conversation took an interesting turn when a member from the audience asked the panel about balancing their careers and families. The panel answered the question by asking the audience why men are never asked the same thing. The panel acknowledged that women are often viewed as the keeper of the home and child-nurturers, but said society should work on viewing women on the same level as a men, especially in the workforce.

ASNE-APME 2014 wraps up with First Amendment luncheon with James Risen

By Sydney Lawson 
Columbia College Chicago

ASNE-APME 2014: Fast Forward wrapped up Wednesday with a luncheon program 
featuring James Risen and others discussing the current state of press freedom. 

Risen, The New York Times reporter who is facing jail time for refusing to reveal a confidential CIA source, said journalists should push forward with aggressive investigative reporting "even at a time of diminished resources and hallowed-out newsrooms."

He also said “more aggressive, tougher stories” will earn respect from the government.

Dana Priest of the University of Maryland, Ellen Gabler of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Gene Policinski of the Newseum Institute and First Amendment Center joined Risen in answering questions from editors and sharing triumphs and frustrations in their watchdog roles. 

Priest told editors to "give your reporters time" when agencies put up roadblocks. 

Kevin Goldberg, ASNE legal counsel, was also on the panel; he said the government has never wanted to work with journalists, but now they do not have to because technology and social media have made it easier for officials to distribute information directly to constituents. 

Despite the frustrations of being an investigative reporter, the panel members said they like what they do and will continue to work as watchdogs.

Risen said he tells students that journalism is "the only job where you get paid to stick it to the man."