Back last week from a fabulous trip to Washington D.C. with my students for a national journalism conference. I hadn’t been there in a decade or so and I forget how wonderful that city is—so many museums, history and culture, and never enough time!
We went for the Associated Collegiate Press National Conference. Got in Wednesday night, spent Thursday morning sightseeing and ducking into museums, then got to the conference headquarters at the Grand Hyatt in time to get registered and grab seats to see Donna Brazile, the DNC chairwoman. She was incredible—not only was she incredibly interesting, but she was so much fun. I wanted to go out for drinks with her. And she was just the kick-off to other great speakers: On Friday, we heard from Bob Woodward (Bob fricking Woodward of Watergate fame!), then Saturday we had Edward Snowden beamed live from his secret location to address us. He was wonderful. When he got a huge ovation, he remarked that journalists are about the last group that like him. He, too, was wonderful. Both he and Woodward both had a lot to say about the importance of journalism, as well as how the future rests in the hands of the audience. I found them both incredibly inspirational.
In the meantime, some really great panels during the day. I listened to a surprisingly interesting one about the Freedom of Information Act, one about covering diversity, dealing with sexual assault victims with empathy, and a slew of other timely and informative topics.
Besides the great conference, I got to see my brother and his girlfriend, plus enjoy three full nights that I didn’t have to worry about a child waking me up in the night! The students got a ton out of the conference, too, and got to get in some additional sightseeing after I ducked out on Saturday afternoon to catch an earlier flight back so I could be home for my daughter’s fourth birthday. Anyway, great event and great to be in D.C. just two weeks before the election!