I attended the Alaska Press Club conference over the weekend and am feeling inspired. Listening to Kim Serverson of the New York Times, Susan Orlean of the New Yorker and John Moore of Getty Images reminded me why I got into this profession and movtivated me to go out there and get 'em! And sometimes you need to have a little time to reflect and feel inspired.
Here are some highlights of the weekend events:
- An audience member asked Kim Severson if she felt bad that a particular food review she wrote closed the restaurant. She answered, "My review didn't cause them to go out of business. The crappy food did." She did acknowledge the challenges of writing food review in a small community with challenges like Alaska's food shipping costs, etc. and the community's effort to support local. You tend to look at everything through a "it's GOOD, for Anchorage" lens.
- Susan Orlean said to always make that last phone call and follow every lead. She told two stories where she followed one last lead that she thought would result in nothing and ended up with the most important part of her story. She emphasized how easy it is to be lazy and how easy that turns into missed opportunities.
- John Moore talked about how much canned tuna he ate while covering the front lines in Lybia, how it feels to be a journalist in the war zone, and how lucky and humbled he was when his replacement was captured as a war prisoner just weeks after he left the country. All while showing slides of his wonderful photos.
- My company is small, but mighty, and took home a slew of awards including best weekly for The Tundra Drums. Congratulations to Alex DeMarban, Roy Corral, Victoria Barber, Nadya Gilmore, Steve Quinn and Wayde Carroll for various wins. I personally took home first place certificates for the following categories: Best Magazine Cover, Best Overall Magazine Design and Best Newspaper Graphic. I am honored.
- A hanger that doubles as an online newspaper office makes an excellent place for a party with a bunch of journalists.
- Hearing the first-hand story from the editor who was handcuffed by a certain Senate candidate's security crew for asking questions at a public (depending on who you ask) event last fall.