Category Archives: San Francisco

Get Thee to a Conference!

By ‘Alohi Bikle

c. 'Alohi BikleI’m graduating at the end of spring semester, and here’s my advice to incoming journalism students:  Try to make it to a college journalism convention.

We were lucky this year that the Associated Collegiate Press National Convention was in San Francisco. It was a little easier to get to than most conventions, and financially it was doable. But distance and cost should not stop future students from attending a conference. There are funding sources to help.

The amount of networking I did while at the convention was amazing. I met students from other college campuses around the U.S., professionals and even an admissions counselor from Columbia.

I gained a greater appreciation for our program at Humboldt State. We have award-winning student journalists here. We’re lucky to have faculty and staff who take the time to make sure we produce our publications. A handful of students I met at the ACP convention were from college campuses whose administration didn’t pay any attention to their newspaper or magazine.

I now have a more definite plan of what I’m going to do after I graduate in May, and I have the experience of attending the ACP convention to thank for that.


A Conference Rave Review

By Candice Oliver

c. Candice OliverHSU Journalism Club students at the Associated College Press National Convention in San Francisco on March 1. From left to right: Shelby Meyers, ‘Alohi Bikle, Javier Rojas, Maggie Budd, Ella Rathman, Israel LeFrak, Candice Oliver, Leonard Hedberg, Colleen Chalmers, Alexa Malmgren and Lillian Boyd. Photo by Candice Oliver.

My experience at the Associated College Press Journalism Conference was unforgettable. It was the first journalism conference I had ever attended and I had no idea what to expect. I enjoyed each and every single moment of it and I wish I could go back and relive it all over again. Yes, I really did have that much fun. Every presentation that I went to left me feeling inspired, refreshed and ready to tackle new projects and aspects of journalism. I was constantly taking notes during each breakout session. When all of us met up in our hotel room at the end of the day, we would talk each others’ heads off about all these new ideas we had for the various media outlets on our own campus. Throughout the entire trip I became aware that all of journalism students at Humboldt State University really do know our shit. Sometimes we feel that we have no idea what we’re doing when we are involved with the Osprey and The Lumberjack, but after observing other college newspapers and students at this conference, I realized (and am proud to say) that we do stack up quite nicely compared to other students. Sometimes it’s hard to come from such a small school where our journalism program is small scale, but I have so much faith and confidence in our student-run publications, and I left the conference so damn proud of all of our accomplishments within the journalism department.

Overall, I learned an incredible amount of new information and had a great time. Upon leaving the conference, I have never felt more confident in my decision to pursue journalism. I am motivated, inspired and excited for my future in this field.

Conference Inspires Dreams of Grad School

By Ella Rathman

c. Ella RathmanA few weeks ago, I attended my first ever journalism convention, MEDIA+.  I learned a lot, especially about newspaper design. I am seriously considering a career as a page designer for newspapers or magazines and feel a lot better about it after attending the convention.

Our group met with an admissions officer from Columbia University. I never in a million years thought about applying for Columbia J-School. I don’t have the money or the grades. But I might have a chance of getting in. The admissions officer said a  student’s love and motivation for journalism is more important. I have a hard time getting As, but I am passionate about journalism. This gives me hope that I will be able to attend grad school.

I had a great time bonding with the others on this trip. It really made me feel special to be a part of such an awesome program.

Strange Student in a Strange Land

By Israel LeFrak

c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak c. Israel LeFrak

I went to the Associated College Press Journalism Conference in San Francisco intellectually blind, but I left enlightened. The first night’s speaker Richard Koci Hernandez told me something I needed to hear: “Go out and seek the stories and the experiences because they are not going to come to you sitting on your couch.”

After his speech, my friend and I roamed the city and ran into Hernandez taking pictures on the street. We talked to him for 20 minutes.

The best part about this conference was the social interaction with my peers and journalism professionals. I met other students from around the country and we exchanged ideas.

Every hour was a new learning experience. We had several seminars to choose from on topics such as how to have a better social media presence, reporting on the homeless, alternative press, better beat reporting, how to investigate powerful institutions, 100 free online tools and four days filled with tricks of the trade from the professionals themselves.

One of my favorite sessions was an hour small group meeting with Humboldt State Alumni and San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Page Editor John Diaz. It was awesome being able to talk to him because he attended HSU and made it in the world of journalism.

I’d like to thank everyone at HSU that made this experience possible and for allowing me the opportunity of a lifetime.

A Journey to San Francisco

By Sebastian Hedberg

San Francisco skyline. Photo by Ella Rathman.

San Francisco skyline. Photo by Ella Rathman.

On February 28, I traveled to San Francisco for the Associated Collegiate Press Media Convention. This is my first semester as a journalism student (before this I was a biology major), and this trip was the most informative few days all year. I mingled with other college journalists and found out how they are doing things at their schools.

The convention taught me how to make a good news website and how to advertise it to a specific audience. I left the convention with a new found purpose and full of ideas– one of them was to create a twitter account.

If anyone is thinking of going next year, I’d greatly recommend it, because this was a wonderful experience.

Discovering Journalism’s Power

By Maggie Budd

Candice Oliver, Alohi Bikle, Maggie Budd, Javier Rojas and Israel LeFrak at the Associated College Press national convention in San Francisco on March 1.

When I decided to go to this year’s convention it was mostly because I thought it was a good opportunity to learn about the journalism world before I attempted to become a part of it. I expected to sit and listen to speakers tell all the young, hopeful journalism students like myself some tricks of the trade, the do’s and don’ts and hopefully a few things I hadn’t already heard. What I didn’t expect was the burst of inspiration I felt when listening to these speakers. They were genuine and passionate about what they were saying. I actually believed them when they said journalism was not dying and that we would always be needed.  I found myself hanging onto every word they said. I wanted to listen to every speaker I possibly could and gain as much information as possible.

The opening speaker, Koci Hernandez, urged the journalists in the room to be ready to react with a camera at any moment. He said we are the storytellers and while anyone can be a citizen journalist, few can be true reporters. Only some of us can take the information we receive and tell the story to the public. He told us to be our own teachers and to give ourselves assignments every day to better ourselves.

I also had the chance to sit down with the Columbia admissions director Leon Braswell. He told our group that the students accepted into the master’s program don’t always have the best grades or are even a journalism major. They look for the curious ones, the adventurous ones who have the passion to write and the drive to get out and find a story.

I haven’t been this excited about journalism since I decided it was the direction I wanted to go. I was relieved to see so many successful journalists who are still passionate about our profession and believe in helping us pursue our careers. All of the speakers were incredibly helpful and urged us to contact them whenever we needed to. This convention was the perfect refresher for me. It reminded me that I’m not just in journalism because I enjoy writing, but because I love to tell the story that no one has heard yet and I have the curiosity and drive to find it.

Memorable Quotes From the Conference

“Restriction breathes creativity.”

Brandon Mendleson, from Session with a Pro

“Be an aspirin, not a vitamin.”

Susanne Yada, from Think Like an Entrepreneur

Journalistic Wisdom from the Keynote Speaker

“We’re in the business of storytelling, and that will never go away.”

– Richard Koci Hernandez, Former Photojournalist, San Jose Mercury News

by Colleen Chalmers

c. Colleen Chalmers

Journalism Club President Colleen Chalmers at the ACP conference. Photo by Colleen Chalmers.

I grew up in San Francisco but never had such an experience like this in my city. I wore a blazer and sported a name tag that read “EDITOR” with a baby blue ribbon on it.  I stayed on the 36th floor of the Westin Hotel in a room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking Market Street and the Bay. (Not something I get to do everyday.) I am so grateful to have attended the Associated Collegiate Press National Journalism Convention in early March. It was one of the most overwhelming and empowering events I’ve participated in.

c. Collen Chalmers

Several conference events were held in the Westin Hotel’s Metropolitan Ballroom. Photo by Colleen Chalmers.


It was Thursday afternoon at 4:15, and the opening session was overdue. Hundreds of journalism students sat in the large Metropolitan Ballroom with two glass chandeliers above us. The keynote speaker arrived late, short of breath. “You never start a speech with an apology, so I’ll start with a story,” said Richard Koci Hernandez, instructor at Cal Berkeley and former photojournalist for the San Jose Mercury News.

Hernandez explained how he was sitting in his office, drinking Red Bull and excitedly planning his keynote address — for which he thought was the next day. He quickly realized his speech was today and he was across the bay in Berkeley and already late. For someone who was not finished preparing his speech, his words of wisdom touched me the most of the entire weekend.

He shared with us the sentiment that we are in the business of storytelling and how the need for stories will never go away, no matter what happens in the technology revolution. He called us “memory specialists” and said that journalists are a tribe of storytellers. He said that multimedia is not a new concept and that the platform and tools we use will always change,  but the one thing that will survive changes will always remain the story.

Hernandez said that we cannot live in a consumed life forever and sometimes we should come out and breathe a while. “Life-balance is overrated,” he said. “Be consumed.”

Other quotable gems from Hernandez:

“Journalists of the future need to learn to speak a new language; be active.”

“Living through a revolution is not easy. But you should think like this: ‘I don’t care how the world changes. I know what I want to do.’ And that’s how you survive a revolution.”

“Use the KITN rule.” K (knowledge) + I (information) + T (technology) = N (new narrative.)

“Narrative cannot be unaffected by technology.”

“We will never be unleashed from the digital device… start thinking small screen.”

“We cannot face the future looking through the rear-view mirror.”

“We are a visually literate culture. Plan accordingly.”

“Journalism doesn’t just unfold quietly.”

“You have to know what you want to see before you can see it.”

And to end this particular post…

“Love your experiments as you would an ugly child.”

– Richard Koci Hernandez.

Freshman experiences SF journalism conference

By Javier Rojas

The San Francisco skyline out the hotel window. Photo by Javier Rojas.

The San Francisco skyline out the hotel window. Photo by Javier Rojas.

I didn’t know what to expect from the Associated College Press national conference in San Francisco and never thought that it would be such an inspiring event. Reflecting back upon my time at the conference, I realize a lot about my future as a journalist and as a person. I now have clear intentions of pursuing a journalism career. Being a freshman at Humboldt State University, I have much to learn, but I intend on making the best of every opportunity.

At first going on this trip didn’t seem possible because of money issues, but I knew it was going to be a great experience. I learned a lot about the fundamentals of journalism and how I can incorporate these things into my own work. Hearing from the keynote speakers motivated me to keep pursuing my dreams of writing. An individual’s dreams are possible if the desire is there to go forth and take chances. I thank the Journalism Club for the opportunity to attend the conference.

Journalism Club Trip to San Francisco

By Vicky Sama

c. Colleen ChalmersJournalism Club members Maggie Budd, Javier Rojas, Alohi Bikle, Colleen Chalmers, Israel LeFrak, Candice Oliver, Shelby Meyers and Lillian Boyd visit the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco with reporter/HSU alum Matt Drange (’11). Photo by Colleen Chalmers.

Eleven members of the Humboldt State University Journalism Club attended the 29th Annual Associated College Press National Convention in San Francisco from Feb. 28 – Mar. 3. They
 participated in
workshops and
 groups and networked with industry professionals. The 
ACP awarded
 HSU’s The
 Lumberjack 8th 
place in the Best of Show
 Award category 
for four-year weekly 

“The journalism convention is a worthwhile event in terms of energizing our journalism students and giving a wider perspective and understanding of our craft and studies,” said Journalism Club President Colleen Chalmers. “It provides energy and context to our major, rather than restricting us to our experiences at HSU.”