I spoke at the Association of Collegiate Press’ Mega Workshop this past weekend and led a session on policy establishment. I was absolutely blown away impressed by the students in attendance. My three conference takeaways will hopefully be inspiring to all:
1. Expect the unexpected. I stepped onto the University of Minnesota campus, which sits atop the Mississippi River, and was immediately at-ease with its beauty. I also couldn’t get over the wild turkeys roaming freely! Two adults and a baby bird walked around without a care to the humans around them. All the metaphors you can ponder related to this situation were thought of and quite refreshing.
2. The future of journalism is in good hands. The hundreds of students I spoke to were extremely engaged and welcoming. I’ve spoken to groups of adults who were rude, cold, and judgmental. These students were bright-eyed, taking copious notes, and asked me a ton of questions, making me late for my breakout session. Talking to them was a worthy excuse to be late.
3. People want to go to work and just do work. This includes students working in newsrooms throughout the country. Everyone wants to do their best, put their best foot forward and not have to worry about harassment. These students want to create policies to make their work environment safer and more inclusive. They want to eliminate crass and offensive language and gossip that hinders their work product.
I know these ambitious students will work hard to make their current newsrooms and future workplaces better. The future is in good hands and I’m confident that thanks to students like I encountered, workplace harassment will come to an end soon.