We came, we saw, we covered: APME 2009

02Nov09

Last week seems like a blur.

One minute I was running around my apartment making sure I had A. enough clothes and B. all my photography equipment while trying to finish up a Fundamentals project, go to class, attend meetings and apply for next semester assistanships. [more on the Fundamentals project later.]

Then I found myself driving out to St. Louis, checking into the hotel, and starting coverage of the APME conference via Twitter and through photos.

Whirlwind doesn’t even describe it. Not quite frantic, but definitely intense and fast-paced. From one session to the next, our team blanketed the convention with coverage for those members who could not make it this year. It’s a shame they didn’t – the sessions were fantastic.

Wednesday night, I was scheduled to cover the opening reception at the City Museum.

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The place is incredibly beautiful – and massive. This is just the first floor area. There’s so much more. I can’t wait to go back.

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There was a tank with turtles. Lots and lots of turtles. They got a lot of attention throughout the night.

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A joke was made about being able to brag about attending a conference where they served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, in light of the current economic landscape of the news world. The really did serve little sandwiches.

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No reception is complete without a silent auction. The best part was the live auction, when the caller was trying to get people to bid on a $6,000 vacation. See above photo caption for irony.

Then Wednesday, I photographed two other sessions, the Associated Press Report and the APPM’s Community Journalism and Innovation.

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Members of the audience reacted to the playing of Julie Jacobson’s video and audio diary of the situation when she took the controversial photo of the injured Marine who later died.

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The panelists watch a presentation on some of the AP’s most innovative and exciting storytelling work.

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In the APPM session, attendees were asked to write out the core principles they believe in as journalists.

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Yes, we even watched a segment of The Colbert Report to illustrate just how far the Commercial Appeal’s story on public records (gun licenses) went. The clip is at that link.

So yeah. It was a blast to cover, and fantastic to meet some inspiring people. Don’t listen to those naysayers out there. Journalism is NOT dead – it’s just changing.

And from what I saw at this conference, there’s a bright future ahead. We just need to make sure we can get there.

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