GC3 Media advisor to join national student news media board

12/12/2012

By RACHAEL GRAY

By RACHAEL GRAY

rgray@gctelegram.com

Laura York Guy says it's an exciting time for journalism.

With media convergence, the ways to tell a story are endless, she said.

It's also an exciting time for the Garden City Community College GC3 Media adviser, who has been selected to join the National Scholastic Press Association Board of Directors.

NSPA is a nonprofit national organization headquartered and incorporated in Minnesota and open to middle school, junior high and high school student news media members.¬ The Associated Collegiate Press, for postsecondary-level student media, is a program of the NSPA.

Guy, who has taught journalism for 17 years at GCCC, will serve in an advisory role for students.

In addition to putting on conventions and training workshops, the NSPA also provides critique services.

"The primary goal is education for students and student programs," she said.

Guy said her students will benefit from her serving in that capacity.

"I think one of the primary reasons that I agreed to serve on the board was because of the connections — not necessarily for me, but for my students. My primary purpose is to provide links to students and help build the bridge to areas they might be interested in," she said.

Serving on the NSPA board also will keep Guy in the know about what's next for journalism.

"It will keep me abreast of what's going on, and what the needs are, and the direction that media and journalism are going in general," she said.

She also will be in contact with teachers at the lower levels.

"It helps me connect with area educators at the high school level. I think it's important to provide that link to those students — to show them there are programs within the area," she said.

While teaching at GCCC, Guy has transformed the journalism classes into convergence media.

Staff members under her guidance publish a broadsheet campus newspaper every other Thursday throughout the academic year, as well as a full-color magazine three times annually.¬ Both publications also maintain a prominent online presence.

The instructor has been active in college media advising networks on the state and national level.¬ She served for seven years on the board of directors of College Media Advisers, and also served two terms as secretary and three terms as vice president for Kansas Associated Collegiate Press.

She attended the University of Kansas for two years, then transferred to St. Mary of the Plains and graduated with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and a minor in business. She worked for High Plains Publishers before returning to graduate school at Fort Hays State University.

During her time in journalism, Guy has seen the industry change.

When asked whether newspapers and magazines will still exist in the future, she compares the industry to the music market.

"My response is, 'Do you still listen to music? When is the last time you bought a CD?' My point is there's still someone being trained to produce those things. The delivery may have changed," she said.

Guy said we live in a cultural society where people still are interested in news and information.

"They still want to know what's going on. Sure, they check Facebook statuses, but those aren't always accurate. It still takes training to provide the organization, critical thinking and research skills to be a journalist," she said.

Guy said the ways in which stories are told are changing.

"We're going online and using social media and different media. But the basics are the same. You have to go out and talk to people, do research, check facts and present a good story and/or photo, and/or video. You just have to be able to do a lot more now other than specializing in one aspect. And that's exciting," she said.

In addition to her professional credentials and past service, NSPA officials credited Guy for extensive experience at the community college level and in serving students from a diverse range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds

The KACP selected GCCC's Silhouette for the 2012 All Kansas Award, making it the top student newspaper for two-year colleges in Kansas, with Breakaway taking second place among student-published magazines. Staff members advised by Guy have helped organize various First Amendment and Constitution Day events and activities, and graduates serve in media positions across the nation.

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