College Media Association wants to help.

Throughout the last several months, during board of directors meetings, discussions with Associated Collegiate Press board members, interactions with professionals and leaders of other news-based service organizations, it’s become clear.

Our members need help navigating this ever-evolving news business. So that’s where CMA board members are focusing their attention.

We understand that travel dollars are limited, that relevant convention sessions are more critical than ever before and that College Media Association is uniquely positioned to offer services you won’t get elsewhere. That’s why we’re working on several fronts to make your membership more valuable to you.

Here’s how:

1) College Media Association once served members through a number of committees that addressed a broad range of needs for the organization and its members. A couple of years back, the board began to question whether the committees were working in the right ways and effectively assisting members with their needs. When we had trouble answering those questions, we disbanded a majority of the committees and opted to start again from scratch. Within the last year, we surveyed a number of our members who identified issues that were important to them and three areas rose to the top: business, multimedia and diversity.

So you may have noticed during the CMA convention in New York last month that the board hosted a series of sessions designed to gauge member interest in forming special interest groups around the topics of diversity, business and multimedia. The response was very positive, and the groups are now up and running.

If you’re interested in becoming involved with any of these special interest groups, here are your contacts:

Diversity and Inclusion: 

Jackie Alexander, Chair, Email: alexanjd@gmail.com

Rachele Kanigel, Assistant Chair, Email: rkanigel@gmail.com

Business: 

Candace Baltz, Chair, Email: candace.baltz@oregonstate.edu

Multimedia: 

Steve Listopad, Chair, Email: steven.listopad@vcsu.edu 

We’ve also created a listserv for each group (three in total) to facilitate discussion of issues relative to the needs of each area. If you’d like to subscribe, send an email to info@collegemedia.org indicating which group you’d like to join and you’ll be added. 

2) We have reintroduced the mentor/mentee program for members of CMA. Although it’s been around for a while, the new adviser mentor program had fallen off in the last couple of years. It’s a program based on a straightforward premise. If you are a new adviser and want to connect with someone who has been around a little longer, we will find you an excellent partner. This person will be there to answer questions, share information and generally help you navigate the college media environment. In the last three months, we’ve reminded members about this program and we currently have six official mentor/mentee pairings.  If you’d like additional information about this program, contact Rachel Wedding McClelland, vice president of member services, at rachel.mcclelland@utk.edu.

3) We’ve reinstated our partnership with the Associated Collegiate Press. For nearly 60 years, the organizations jointly presented the Fall National College Media Convention. In 2013 the organizations were unable to reach an agreement on the terms of the partnership and both went on to plan events independent of each other. In July, the groups are reuniting to host summer workshops in Minneapolis on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Attendees will have opportunities to learn how to lead others, step up their news coverage, improve their visuals, perfect their sports reporting and learn new digital processes. And in October 2017, the groups will jointly host the Fall National College Media Convention in Dallas, Texas.

These are three of the opportunities we’ve identified in recent months that we believe will offer you some of the help you need. But our list and our efforts aren’t ending there. We want to be an invaluable partner in your work with student media operations. If we’re not living up to that goal, you need to let us know.