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REF NO.: 105

SUBJECT: Memorial University's student paper, the muse, to host national conference of student journalists

DATE: Jan. 20

Memorial University's student newspaper, the muse, is hosting a national conference of student journalists this week. The annual Canadian University Press (CUP) National Student Media Conference will run from Jan. 21 to Jan. 27, 2004, at The Fairmont Hotel in St. John's and includes a range of training sessions for close to 300 budding journalists arriving from universities across Canada. CUP's annual general meeting will also take place during the conference.

"This is an excellent opportunity for student journalists to build on their knowledge of the craft of journalism," said Chris Dinn conference co-ordinator. "They will also get an a chance to discuss the issues facing the student press and meet with some of Canada's leading journalists."

The conference concentrates not only on improving the delegate's coverage of student issues, but also on preparing the delegates for the professional transition into the media industries. Editors, journalists, photographers, writers and managers from Canada's premier media outlets will be leading the seminars.

Aside from the over 25 planned seminars, the conference includes a list of renowned journalists delivering keynote addresses. They include Globe and Mail columnists Margaret Wente and Marcus Gee, CBC Radio's Michael Enright, and Neil MacDonald, the Washington correspondent for CBC's The National.

In recent years the National Student Media Conference has been held across the country in cities such as Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Guelph and Halifax. This is the first time in CUP's 66 year history that the conference has been held in St. John's.

The muse, Memorial's student newspaper, was selected in 2003 as the host of this year's conference. It faced a strongly competitive bid from the University of Alberta's student paper, the Gateway. Delegates from all member papers of the student newspaper co-operative CUP voted the muse as host for this conference.

"We pulled out all the stops to make this happen, Mr. Dinn notes. "We knew we had competition, but we also knew that St. John's is considered a great conference location and that it was time to have this national conference in our part of the country. Staff at the muse are now looking forward to providing their peers with a valuable learning experience and a bit of fun too."

In 1938, a group of student newspaper editors from across Canada gathered in Winnipeg to discuss the problems they faced covering national news. They realized their campuses didn't exist in a vacuum, but none of them had the resources to cover all the important events affecting students that happen across the country. To solve that problem, they created CUP, the oldest national student organization in North America, and the oldest student news service in the world. CUP is now a national, non-profit cooperative news service owned by over 60 student newspapers.

Today CUP provides its member newspapers with many services such as a news exchange, graphics exchange, styleguide, listserv, web site hosting, newsletters and conferences. These services provide our members with opportunities for skills building and networking with other student journalists across Canada.

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