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IPJ Hosts Weekend Conference For College Students


On Nov. 4 and 5 the Institute on Political Journalism hosted “Journalism, Politics and the Presidential Campaign of 2012,” a conference for college journalism students. The event took place in Washington and brought together 100 students from 38 colleges and universities. Sessions featured 21 speakers and panelists – 11 of whom were IPJ alumni. Discussion topics ranged from religion and politics to getting a job in the field after graduation.

The conference opened with remarks from www.gallup.com’s first and only journalist on staff Lymari Morales. Morales talked about her work as the managing news editor and gave tips on how to use data-driven news when covering the presidential campaign.

ABC News’ Karen Travers (IPJ 99) delivered the keynote address on Friday, and Kenneth Vogel of POLITICO gave the keynote address during Saturday’s sessions. Travers shared stories about her career from her early work as a desk assistant at ABC News to her more recent work as politics reporter covering the Bush and Obama White Houses. She concluded with some advice for the aspiring journalists: “Be humble and be the intern that works hard and stays late.”

Jeff Nelligan, press secretary for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (Texas) speaks to students at a site briefing on Capitol Hill.
Jeff Nelligan, press secretary for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (Texas) speaks to students at a site briefing on Capitol Hill.

During the weekend the students traveled throughout Washington for on-location sessions. They broke into two groups to attend site briefings at either C-SPAN or Capitol Hill. They also attended a live taping of NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory that featured Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. The students also toured the Newseum.

Other speakers included Elizabeth Tenty Galle of The Washington Post and IPJ board of visitors member Mollie Ziegler Hemingway of www.getreligion.com. The duo shared insights on how Mitt Romney’s and Jon Huntsman’s faith will play a role in the campaign of 2012.

After the weekend’s events TFAS encouraged the students to spread the word about IPJ and the conference with a contest for best conference news story. The contest holds a cash prize of $200 plus a $2,000 scholarship to attend IPJ.

“This conference was an absolutely wonderful experience!” said one attendee. “I walked away not only with more knowledge about how to be a good reporter, but also a renewed passion for reporting in general.”

Special thank you to our alumni who spoke at the conference:

Nicholas Ballasy, The Daily Caller
John Heltman, Inside EPA
David Karas, The Trenton Times
Jared Keller, The Atlantic Magazine
Jayne Miller, International Foundation for Electoral Systems
Amber Parcher, The Daily Item
Ellis Smith, The Chattanooga Times Free Press
Amanda Smith-Teutsch, Managing Editor, Crain Communications
Jessica Taylor, House Race Editor, National Journal Hotline
Karen Travers, National Politics Reporter, ABC News



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