Student Wins Twitter Journalism Contest at Garden State Scholastic Press Association Conference

By Andrew Rowan ’19, Marketing and Communications Student Intern

On October 28, Andrew Rowan ’19 was announced as the winner of the Twitter reporting contest during the Garden State Scholastic Press Association (GSSPA) Fall Press Day. He created a Twitter account for the day and you can view his award-winning recap of the conference below.

On October 24, the GSSPA hosted their annual Fall Press Day at the Busch Student Center at Rutgers University — New Brunswick. Student journalists and publicists from both The Cupola (MFS yearbook) and MFS WordsWorth (MFS student newspaper) were in attendance among 500 others with their advisors.

Here’s the day as told through my Twitter account:

We started our day bright and early, and a bus full of students were ready to seek out new ways to better their publications.

Each student selected which courses they wanted to take, according to their areas of interest. Some courses were geared specifically towards journalism or yearbook, while others were focused on the design, layout, and business of publications.

My first course was from Professor Ben Dworkin, head of the Rebovich Institute for NJ Politics. Entitled “From School Editor to Polítical Pundit: The Skills for Success,” he spoke about the skills you learn as a student journalist and how they carry over to anything you do in life.

Next, I joined Angela Hill, a Scripps News national investigative journalist, for “The Power and Excitement of Investigative Journalism.” Hill explained that investigative journalism is all about exposing wrongdoing and bringing it in the spotlight, and often initiating change. She explained how important it was for all journalists to be on the lookout for anything that could be problematic. “Always be prepared…and keep in touch with your sources,” recommended Hill.

Then, I attended the keynote address presented by Mike Simons, Columbia Scholastic Press Association Advisers’ Association President, who talked about the importance of print media and specifically the stories that they tell in a world of real-time information.

After a pizza lunch I joined Amanda Brennan, Tumblr’s Librarian,  for “Building Your Personal Brand.”

“Personal brand is the version of yourself that you can package and send to someone,” Brennan told the audience. She went on to explain how honing in on your personal social media strategy will allow you to grow your audience and network with people with whom you share interests with.

Lastly, I joined Erin Harris for “Tech and Tools for Yearbook Staffs.” She gave us great apps and workflow ideas that we have already implemented in our daily operation at The Cupola.

The GSSPA Fall Press Day conference gave the student journalists and publicists an opportunity to network with other students and advisors to gain insights about what makes a great publication. From the content all the way to the leadership system, there were many different aspects of our own publication for which we gained new strategies. MFS students came back reenergized about their respective publications with new ideas and processes to hit the ground running.