XCD09 – Week Two Recap

The Cross Country Drive ’09 (xcd09) continued this week in Iowa. On Sunday, I drove back into my homeland. The first stop was in Bettendorf, where I stopped by to see good friend and former Dole 96 compatriot Jeff Hassel. Jeff and I had a great time catching up over dinner at Old Chicago.

Late on Sunday night, I arrived back in Ames. I spent most of my week back in the classroom. I serve on the Advisory Council for the Greenlee School of Journalism at Iowa State, so I maintain contact with the leaders and professors there. Because I was going to be in Ames for most of the week, I volunteered to stop by to chat with students about media/politics/pr issues in Washington. I was struck by the interest, as I ended up speaking to nine different classes over the course of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Those classes included:

– Opinion writing with Richard Doak
– Ethical and Social Issues and the use of New Technology (graduate level) with Chad Harms (former collegiate boxing champ)
– Media Law 460 with Barbara Mack (a former prof of mine when I took 460 in 1993)
– Intro to Public Relation with Erin Wilgenbush
– Media Ethics, Freedom and Responsibility with Jeff Blevins
– Journalism 201 with Richard Doak
– Journalism 201 with Angie Hunt
– And, finally, two sessions of Public Relations for Non-Majors with Diane Bugeja

It was a really rewarding experience for me to be able to talk with the students about the interaction between reporters and sources in Washington. Topics ran the range in the classes, but we covered important issues like how to prepare for interviews, challenges of staying on top of breaking news, drawing attention to the stories/policies you want reporters to notice, groundrules of interaction with reporters (on the record, background, off the record and leaks) and the importance of utilizing new technology – including social networking – to spread your message. The questions from the students were insightful and very thoughtful (aside from that one about 9/11 being an inside job – eesh) and gave me confidence that the students were being well-prepared to take on the challenges of working on media matters in today’s world.

The last couple days have been spent at the ISU Alumni Association headquarters participating in Board of Directors meetings. We meet on a quarterly basis to discuss the direction of the Alumni Association and hopefully provide guidance on the vision for the future. Now that the Association has the new headquarters (stop by if you haven’t seen it), we are very excited about the opportunties to connect Cyclone alumni to the University in new ways. The board is comprised of very talented people from many different regions and backgrounds and the meetings always reinvigorate my Cyclone spirit.

Tomorrow, I plan to drive off to Colorado for some skiing in Breckenridge. I’m looking forward to hitting the slopes!

Journey on.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 28th, 2009 at 11:42 AM and is filed under Cross Country Drive 2009, Media, Politics, Technology. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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