The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Student Journalist Covers ONA 11 in Boston

Communications senior Michael Jimenez

By Michael Jimenez

Hello to everyone at A&M-San Antonio! I’m in Boston for the Online News Association conference. Last Spring, San Antonio online journalists Antonio Rodriguez and Charlotte-Ann Lucas of NowCast encouraged me to apply for a scholarship and I landed it. Ms. Lucas and just I met for the first time in Boston.

The ONA11 Student Newsroom “immerses college students in a digital media environment by providing hands-on experience producing content for the ONA11 website before and during the conference, under the guidance of professional mentors.” We also  have the opportunity to attend sessions led by experts in digital journalism, network with attendees and acquire and flex new digital media skills. It’s an awesome opportunity. Here’s Day 1:

The days are hectic! Up at 6:45 a.m.and down in the Lobby by 8 a.m. Our mentor, Sarah Kelley, had lied to us but for a good reason. We were actually due to leave at 8:30 a.m. and of course there were a few of us that were late, which was to be expected. I was not one of them, but that gave me time to run upstairs to Starbucks and grab a coffee. We’re staying at the Marriott Copley Place, which is very similar to Rivercenter, and has a mall attached to it.

After introductions — there are just 20 other students nationwide who received the Google scholarship — I immediately knew I was in great company. Everyone shared the same excitement and enthusiasm. The first 30 minutes of greetings  seemed like just seconds.

Off to the the Boston Globe! We took what was called the T (aka the subway). Thist was my first time riding the subway, and what an experience it was. First of all, it was extremely uncomfortable being sandwiched in between everyone. The subway was so packed it was ridiculous. Riding the subway  is not something that I would want to do once a week let alone everyday. First of all it was hot and humid, and actually a little scary even though I was with 20 other students. I missed San Antonio and my truck.

We arrived after a transfer and about a 30 minute ride, a ride like a roller coaster. I kept thinking, what happens if it derails?When we arrived at our destination we still had to walk about a mile to our destination. After a tour of the Boston Globe, we headed back to our hotel and we had lunch.

The rest of the day we got together and collaborated on ideas to cover the Online News Association Conference and Banquet. After a few hours of sharing, collaborating and honing our stories, we were allowed to head to our rooms for the day.

We all relaxed  and some of us took naps, because the day was not done. About 7:30 p.m. we headed to an Online News Association mixer party (with an open bar!) And the rest of the night belongs to only me…lol kidding. We had a great time and ended up back at the hotel around 1 a.m.  Then up again a 6:45 a.m.

The next few days are going to be very busy. I’ll be interviewing Vadim Lavrusik of Facebook and someone from Google News. Maybe Vivek Kundra, former federal chief information officer of the Obama administration. I’ll also be staying up late to shoot and edit my videos.

My portfolio will be updated soon. Thanks for following. – Michael

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