Student Media Conference
Addresses "Attack Mentality"after 9/11
|Michael Oreskes of the New York Times
(and CCNY grad, Class of 1975) delivering his keynote
Greeting the more than 500 attendees at
a Graduate Center conference on "Attack Mentality:
A Student Conference & Survival Guide on Journalism, Media,
Internships & Jobs in the Age of 9/11," Chancellor
Matthew Goldstein remarked that the event "forcefully demonstrated
we have a diverse student body with some of the brightest
future professionals you will find anywhere: hundreds of student
newspaper editors, radio station managers, web publishers,
video producers, and students enrolled in journalism and media
courses across CUNY's six community and 11 senior colleges."
Convincing evidence for the proud boast was immediately forthcoming,
when the Chancellor turned to introduce the conference's keynote
speaker, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Oreskes of the New
Oreskeswho has risen during his 20-year career at the
Times from metropolitan reporter to assistant managing editor
and director of electronic newsbegan his journalistic
career as a prodigious reporter on the CCNY campus and editor
of the college paper, the Campus. While there Oreskes
won a Newspaper Fund scholarship, interned at the Wall
Street Journal and contributed to the Daily News
as the campus "stringer" (he graduated in 1975).
Recognizing Oreskes' distinguished career
and his loyalty to the University, Goldstein surprised him
and the audience in the Proshanksy Auditorium with the conferral
of the Chancellor's Alumni Achievement Award in Journalism.
In his address at the March 1 event, Oreskes recalled his
days as an undergraduate, and reminded the students assembled
that they share in a unique tradition of access and excellence
that has helped uplift generations of New Yorkers. "Carry
it proudly," he advised.
The Oreskes keynote highlighted a day of panels, discussions
and an extremely popular Career and Job Fair organized by
Vice Chancellor for University Relations Jay Hershenson and
University Director for Media Relations Michael Arena, with
strong support from a special faculty steering committee.
In morning sessions, conferees explored several topics on
methods of generating and delivering information.
Correspondents described their experiences in a panel on "War
Stories: From CUNY to Covering the Middle East and Afghanistan,"
while war stories of a professional kind were offered by the
panel on "Hard Knocks: Lessons from the Job World." The art
of interviewing was addressed by a panel wittily titled "Velvet
Gloves, Rubber Mallets and Other Useful Techniques.”
Other panels considered "Journalism and
the Law," "Big Sports on Campus: How to Cover Your Team,"
"WebDesign/ Newspaper Design: The Look, the Feel, the Message,"
and "Crisis on Campus: How Two Student Journalists Responded
University journalism professors moderated many panels, and
panelists were among the city's leading professionals in television,
radio, print and web media. They included: Joseph Calderone,
Daily News investigations editor; former CNN general
counsel Eve Burton; NY1 political analyst and co-host Dominic
Carter; News Channel 4 reporter Ti-Hua Chang; New York
Times columnist (and CCNY 66 grad) Clyde Haberman;
Lonnie Isabel, Newsday assistant managing editor; Clem
Richardson, Daily News columnist; Nelson Wong, Sony
New Music Lab senior director; and former New York UPI bureau
chief (and current assistant to Chancellor Goldstein) Judith
|Sheila Rule, left, of the New York
Times offers career advice at the Job Fair. More than
25 media recruiters attended.
Burton, nationally recognized for her work in defense of the
First Amendment and a frequent lecturer at journalism graduate
schools, was struck by the intensityand diversityof her
audience. "The newsrooms need you in print and broadcast,"
she said. "One of things missing in my view is people of all
different backgrounds reporting from all different perspectives.
I urge you not to give up on your desires. Go forward into
the mainstream newsrooms in our country."
The number of student journalists attending represented a
nearly five-fold increase from the previous media conference.
Of particular interest to them was a mid-day Job Fair held
in the Graduate Center Concourse. Representatives from 25
organizations, including major newspapers, several TV stations
and magazines, were there to speak about employment opportunities.
A lively special session of CUNY Forum was also taped at CUNY-TV.
Hosted by Bob Liff, journalists from the Village Voice,
the Washington Post and El Diario-La Prensa
debated how New York is coping with the events of September
11 and fielded questions from students and faculty in the
Appraising the conference earlier at the afternoon plenary
session, Executive Vice Chancellor Louise Mirrer called it
"a model of what can be accomplished through the collaboration
of committed people pooling their resources and talents in
the service of a common goal."
Reiterating Chancellor Goldstein's boast, Mirrer concluded
her remarks by underscoring the distinct advantages of her
audience's locationin New York and on a CUNY campus.
"Having you here in one room reinforces Chancellor Goldstein's
ideal of a truly integrated City University, a force that
combines strengths to make a whole that is greater than the
sum of its parts," she noted.
CUNY, she added, is "a great place to become involved in the
media, perhaps even to focus on a kind of urban journalism˜New
Yorkers have a gritty sophistication and a special way of
seeing the world. And we have that New York edge. These are
our strengths, and they carry over to our student body, which
reflects the city's ethnic diversity, many of them minority,
many foreign born, many women."
The Executive Vice Chancellor concluded by urging the organizers
of the conference to build upon this success. "I hope you
can use today's event as a launching pad for further collaborative
activities. I am pleased to be with you today and I'd like
to offer the full support of the Office of Academic Affairs
for future endeavors."