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NABJ Convention 2010: Hot Topics

July 25, 2010

So much has happened in the first six months of 2010 that it will be difficult focusing on a single topic. Everything from natural disasters like the Haiti earthquake (and unnatural disaster coverage, i.e. BP Gulf Spill) to newer ones like the recent and ongoing issue of media coverage and former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod.

For purely selfish reasons, most commentary on Shirley Sherrod seems to be the most attention grabbing right now. No one current event is more important than the other, or even comparable really, but Sherrod’s seemed to add fuel to the debate of whether or not newer forms of media should be welcomed in the traditional world. Old vs. New. My answer is a resounding yes, of course it should be, but until I head to San Diego I won’t be able to hear all perspectives on this.

Another, yet not-so-hot topic is ESPN’s coverage of LeBron’s James departure from professional basketball team the Cleveland Cavaliers. While “The Decision” itself adds to the not-so-hot moniker, viewpoints on the matter will definitely be dynamic. Besides being an avid basketball fan and native Clevelander, it’ll be interesting to hear what people think about how ESPN handled it. I’m especially interesting in hearing the significance of it from a network’s end. The ESPN ombudsman has already openly criticized “The Decision” coverage, lending an introduction to the conversation. Overall, I just hope I don’t hear any Mistake on the Lake jokes!

Lastly, another hot topic is the organization itself. On the NABJ listserve it was found that other professional journalism organizations are looking into the possibility of joining forces and collaborating on annual conventions to save money. There’s nothing awry about being financially responsible, so this addition lends itself more so to the curiosity aspect of what conventions will look like in the future.

Of course, more hot topics are to come. When the student projects information becomes available I’ll be sure to post it here, along with general information and other happenings going on around this year’s convention.

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