SPJ, Cal Times members take on Detroit for conference


Rachael McKriger

Front row: Angel Funk and Rachael McKriger. Back row: Taylor Barta, Daniel Beeck, Dr. Anthony Carlisle and Jeff Helsel

Rachael Kriger, Editor In Chief

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists and the California Times ventured to Detroit, Michigan for the SPJ Region 4 Conference.

The conference, which was held at the Hotel St. Regis, included guest speakers, workshop sessions and an award ceremony titled the Mark of Excellence Awards. California University of Pennsylvania took home the award for best cover design, created by former graphic designer Connor Marshman, a Cal U class of 2016 graduate.

Marshman was also named a finalist in the same category for another cover design.

Making the trip on behalf of both clubs were Taylor Barta, Angel Funk, Daniel Beeck and Rachael McKriger. They were also accompanied by Jeff Helsel, director of publications for the California Times, and Anthony Carlisle, journalism professor and chair of the English department.

As for the guest speakers, there were journalists and multimedia journalists from the Wall Street Journal, Detroit Free Press and other outlets in Detroit. The keynote lunch speaker was Detroit Police Chief James Craig. Craig spoke about his time in Detroit, as well as Cincinnati and Los Angeles and some of the problems, and potential solutions, facing Detroit.

After Craig spoke, a session was held reviewing the 2016 president election coverage. Aaron Pickrell, Lena Epstein, Chad Livengood and Chrissie Thompson spoke on their different viewpoints and answered questions from students about how election coverage can be less biased and better executed during the next election cycle.

Lastly, another panel was held on the good and bad of social media, which was led by Dr. Elizabeth Stoycheff, Brian Manzullo, Bill Emkow and Dr. Stine Eckert. Like the election panelists, the four social media speakers answered questions on how journalists can use social media to their advantage, and what they should not do on social media.

If any student in interested in the events and would like to attend next year’s conference, the Cal U chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists meets every other Thursday in room 231 of Azorsky Hall at 11 a.m.