The SPJ Region One Conference was hardly a chorus of pontificating professors.

The panels I attended were more fun and more enriching than sitting in a classroom. Not that there's anything wrong with sitting in a classroom. I practically longed once again for those halcyon days. But as a part-time thing, it's good to hear other perspectives from a cross-section of journalists, and, yes, professors, too.

Although NJ Transit decided to shut down the Light Rail connection from Penn Station to the campus, it was a beautiful day and many people reported delightful walks through the city or satisfactory rides on city buses.

Parking meters in front of Robeson Center on MLK Jr. Blvd. charge 25 cents for half an hour. They have a two-hour limit. The young man who parked behind me, he said he was from Nutley, said not to bother with the meters. I didn't listen. Later, I saw several cars, including the Nutley kid's car, with RU Police envelopes under their windshields.

Meanwhile, across the street there were no parking meters. When I arrived, there were no spaces, either. But, hey, there were parking garages on the other side of the campus square. (You're not supposed to believe them when they say LOT FULL.) So there!

On Friday one panelist said there were 19 million blogs.

On Saturday, Danny Schechter allowed that there were 21 million blogs. Someone else said you shouldn't rely on the government's count of immigrants at an L.A. protest.

Frank Scandale, editor of The Record, Hackensack, said that everyone (in the room at least) should buy a newspaper every day. It doesn't have to be his newspaper, but BUY A NEWSPAPER. What is it, 50 cents a day? Three bucks a week? For the Price of an expensive cup of coffee that you sometimes don't finish, you could read a newspaper every day, he said, I'm paraphrasing.

UT found the conference reinvigoring about this career choice of ours.

Next year's SPJ Region One Conference will be April 13 & 14 at
Hofstra in New York.

Copyright © 2006 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved.

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