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On the street & off the cuff

By Billy O'Keefe

By Breanne Coats
Pacific Lutheran University
Photo by Rachael Strecher, Columbia College

Carolyn Greer (right), 45, journeyed from her two children and volleyball league for the chance to represent her local SPJ chapter as a delegate. Greer, the immediate past-president of the SPJ Louisville Pro chapter, says she worked her way up the ladder and is currently the managing editor of the Business Journal of Louisville, Ky. Greer says she does not plan to do a lot of business card swapping and schmoozing during her fourth consecutive SPJ national convention. Instead, she hopes to learn from speakers and attendees and take those lessons back to her newsroom.
Here are some of Greer’s thoughts on journalism and the convention:
What have you learned at the convention you never would have learned in your newsroom or place of employment?
The big benefit for me is how to improve the chapter. Discussion is valuable and provokes thoughts that I wouldn’t get in my day-to-day work life.
If you were charged with creating your own seminar, what would it be about and why?
Something people could take home to their newsrooms. Last year a guy did a presentation on accuracy. I took handouts and I got his slide show. We (Greer and her staff) had a very good discussion about it.
Name one late reporter you’d like to reincarnate and have a drink with at this conference.
Edward R. Murrow. He got so much accomplished in TV that is rarely done today. I would talk to him about whether TV can be brought back up to where it was in his day, both in terms of quality and relevance.
What is your most embarrassing moment on the job?
I’m sure there’ve been corrections we’ve had to make, but I can’t think of anything.
Who’s doing your job if you’re here?
Our paper pretty much wrapped up for the week. Usually the editor takes care of it, and my other duties are dispersed among the editors.
Is there a keynote speaker you were or are looking forward to hearing from and why?
Bill Kurtis. You never know what you are going to get.
What is the best part about being a member of SPJ?
What I like best is giving the journalists in Louisville a chance to get to know each other. I think that strengthens journalism overall.
What is the main reason you are here? How many business cards are you hoping to exchange?
The main reason I’m here is I’m a delegate for my chapter. It’s not a networking get-ahead kind of thing.
What’s the one story you haven’t been able to tell that you’d like to?
There’s a lot more than one. As a business journal we get the corporate version of deals, layoffs, whatever, but sometimes off the record we get more colorful information. We often can’t tell the more colorful stories.
What is it about journalism that you like the most?
Just being plugged into what’s going on. If I was in another profession it would take an effort to have the awareness you get automatically in the newsroom.
What prompted you to enter the field?
I just drifted into it. My sister was a journalist. In college I started as a journalism student. It all kind of fell into place.
If you were starting a newspaper, what would you call it?
The Daily Bugle would be nice, like in Spider-Man. It would depend, though, on the type of paper and the market.