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The Lookout | September 28, 2021

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OPINION COLUMN: Sarah’s Stance: MPA convention a chance to learn

OPINION COLUMN: Sarah’s Stance: MPA convention a chance to learn

By Sarah Barney
A&E Editor

As a student journalist, I have attended quite a few conventions. I have been able to take part in sessions that help me grow as a journalist and designer.

On Thursday, May 10, I was able to attend the annual Michigan Press Association (MPA) convention and gala at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

I had never been to a MPA convention before, so I wasn’t sure what it would be like.

While The Lookouts newly minted Editor in Chief Ashlee Buhler and Adviser Larry Hook attended sessions at the Kellogg Center, I went to a “Design Boot Camp” session in the Communication Arts and Science Building on the campus of Michigan State University. The session was led Rick Epps, the former presentation editor of The Detroit News.

I haven’t designed a cover for a broadsheet newspaper before, as both my high school and college newspapers have been tabloid style publications. However, this session gave me the opportunity to do just that.

Epps sent to us via computer story packages, including body copy, photos and captions that we were able to use to start designing a potential cover for a newspaper.

I feel like I learned a lot of new keyboard tricks, which I always love learning, and it was a great opportunity for me get even more experienced with using InDesign, the design program we use at The Lookout.

I also enjoyed getting to use methods and techniques for designing that I haven’t seen used before by previous mentors.

I always enjoy getting to see a new perspective on what a newspaper should look like. I feel like exposure to this helps me grow the most as a designer, and to get closer to finding my own style.

After the session, which lasted from 1:30 to 5 p.m., I met up with Ashlee and Larry at the Kellogg Center. I got a few freebies and we talked about what we had each learned during our individual sessions.

At the awards ceremony, we accepted a first-place award for “Newspaper of the Year” in our division, which was really encouraging.

I’m really looking forward to attending more sessions at the 2019 MPA convention, which will take place in Grand Rapids.