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Networking benefits all

By eijnews

By Rachel Weatherford
The Working Press

Two years into their unique partnership, the honeymoon is still on for radio, broadcast and print journalists that make up two of the country’s major journalism organizations.
The Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio and Television Digital News Association decided to come together for the first time at last year’s Excellence in Journalism 2011 convention in New Orleans.
“It made a lot of sense,” said Mike Cavender, the executive director of RTDNA. “We all practice journalism, just differently.”
RTDNA is composed of broadcasters and electronic journalists, and SPJ is composed mostly of print journalists. Last year, both organizations were happy with the attendance and the quality of the sessions at the convention.
However, organizers recognize each group could benefit from their combined platforms. As for RTDNA, it “wouldn’t be as robust on its own,” Cavender said.
The goal is to provide opportunities for educational training and networking for members. The areas that RTDNA decided to focus on this year included expanding on management sessions and digital journalism sessions for members.
“They like emphasis on real knowledge,” Cavender said.
The combined convention creates the opportunity for members to reinforce their skills and to network with journalists across the media.
“Journalism is our common interest,” said George Bodarky, a member of SPJ and RTDNA. He presented a session called “Unleash Your Inner Broadcaster” Friday.
Bodarky, news director of WFUV-FM and president of Public Radio News Directors, also attended a session called “Great Bosses Bootcamp” on Thursday. He said the session helped him improve management skills and gave him some social media techniques that he can take back to his station.
Laura Beranek, a Western Kentucky University student, attended an ethics seminar and critique sessions on her resume and video. So far, she has learned social media tips, how to interview and how to enrich her writing.
“We’re here networking and mingling,” said Beranek, a student member of RTDNA. “I needed to make connections.”
Beranek said she also liked the session’s flexibility.
“This will really help back at school, too,” she said.