SAJA is 15 this year, and is revving up for a special anniversary convention and career fair on July 10-11 in New York City. Buy your tickets today at SAJAconvention.org.
Aparita Bhandari, SAJA's vice president and chairwoman of the 15th Anniversary And International Convention, shared some of the highlights of the event to student blogger Newly Paul.
The SAJA convention is designed to help journalists face the realities of today’s newsroom amidst the economic downturn and job losses, Bhandari said.
One of the main intentions of the convention is to give journalists skills necessary to survive the current environment. It’s no surprise then that new media guru Jeff Jarvis will deliver the opening keynote speech at the convention. Other speakers will discuss reporting for a multimedia platform, using social networking tools to remain competitive and relevant, and the art of creating a blog.
“This (new media) is where the industry is headed, and this is what we should be looking at,” Bhandari said. “At the same time there’s something to be said for storytelling techniques,…you need to know your basics to be a good reporter.”
That’s where discussions about
long-form writing come in. For those in broadcast, there’s a workshop by Steven Wadhams, a senior radio
producer at CBC/Radio Canada,
Freelance writing is another major theme at the convention.
“Given that newsrooms are shrinking, freelancing is something quite a few people are looking at,” Bhandari said. “This is something you could potentially make a life out of, if you know how to go about it the right way.” Attendees can look forward to Voice of America’s South Asian bureau chief Steven Herman’s session on the challenges and opportunities for freelancers in that region.
One of the most interesting things about the convention is the broad range of speakers.
“The one thing we don’t want his convention to be, is old-school or pedantic,” Bhandari said. “A lot of younger journalists are leading the charge today and we like to showcase some of the work they are doing.”
For instance, one of the speakers Anup
Kaphle is a recent graduate, who currently is reporting in Afghanistan
“The news business is evolving, and while we want to hear from the veterans, we also want to hear from younger people and their techniques for dealing with challenges in the newsroom,” Bhandari said.