Black Hills State University student editors Jodi Mathis and Jenna Carda recently attended the American Collegiate Press (ACP) Best of the Midwest Convention where professionals lauded the convergence of the University’s student produced media site.
ACP's Best of the Midwest conference brings together student newspaper journalists and advisers from a region ranging from the Dakotas to Indiana and provides a place to seek solutions, share success stories, discover trends and network.
Both Mathis, mass communication major from Loveland, Colo., and Carda, corporate communication and mass communication major from Miles City, Mont., said many at the Minneapolis conference were impressed with BHSUMedia.com, a site that includes Jacket Journal, the student newspaper; KBHU-FM, the student radio station; and KBHU-TV, the student television station.
“There were a lot of things we were praised for especially our convergence site,” Carda said noting that people commented on how quickly BHSU had adapted to the fairly new concept of convergence.
The converged site debuted four years ago after several years of planning by mass communication faculty who wanted to take a proactive approach to the rapidly changing news media field.
Mathis, editor-in-chief of the Jacket Journal, said BHSUMedia.com is updated daily with news items that complement the monthly production of the student newspaper.
During the conference, the students were able to talk one-on-one with a media professional and had the Jacket Journal critiqued by a faculty adviser from another university.
Mathis and Carda said they brought back many new ideas to enhance the Jacket Journal, some they will implement this semester and others they will pass down to their successors. Both graduate in May.
“We received a lot of good feedback,” Mathis said. The Jacket Journal staff is already taking steps to enhance its social media presence, something the two brought back from the conference.
Both Mathis and Carda said the conference provided a great opportunity to enhance their careers as student journalists but also helped in advancing their careers after BHSU.
Conferences like the ACP Best of the Midwest help college students grow as a person and a professional, Carda said. “You not only develop as a student and a future professional but you develop as a member of the organization, school or delegation you are in.”
Both thanked Dr. Rod Custer, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Dr. David Wolff, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Amy Fuqua, chair of the School of Arts and Humanities, for their support for the conference and the Jacket Journal.