Students from across the country convened in Washington, DC last weekend for the Collegiate Network's annual Start the Presses Conference. The major takeaway: student journalism is tough, but rewarding. At the conference, future conservative journalists learned how to start or continue a conservative publication on their campus. In addition to this conference, the Network provides training, funding, and mentoring for college students wishing to bring a conservative viewpoint to their campus through publications such as the Yale Free Press and Dartmouth Review. The CN was founded in 1979 and is now administered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
Forty students came to DuPont Circle in the heart of DC to learn from top conservatives in news media. Topics included how to write, edit, and manage a publication, how to layout a magazine or newspaper, the benefits of social media for news sharing, and the responsibilities of being a student editor. Talks were given by The American Spectator's Kyle Peterson and The Weekly Standard's Michael Warren, among others. Nelson Gilliat from Brandeis University in Massachusetts remarked, “The speeches [and] lectures were informative and interesting, the food delicious, the accommodations fantastic, the energy ecstatic, and the conversation intellectual and stimulating.”
Students stayed at the Mayflower Renaissance hotel in DC (a short walk from the White House), ate in and dined out (at The Front Page), and had plenty of time to socialize and discuss big ideas and current events with the other students. Lucy Schouten from Brigham Young University said, “The conference was exciting initially because of its location, but I enjoyed talking to the people as well. It gave me hope for the conservative movement.”
Lillian Civantos and others from the ISI team ran the conference. They talked one-on-one with each student to discuss his or her respective publication and provided many helpful tips on conservative writing.
“[T]he organizational professionalism of the Collegiate Network was astonishing,” said Brendan Newell, from DePaul University in Illinois. Mr. Gilliat added further, “To anyone looking to meet young, motivated conservative and libertarian activists, this is the event to attend.”
Get involved with the CN and start a student newspaper or magazine today!