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Senior White House correspondent chosen as featured speaker for Baptist Press Journalism Conference Oct. 13-15

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A senior White House correspondent who has spent hours with President Bush in the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One and at the ranch in Crawford, Texas, has been tapped as the featured speaker for the 2005 Excellence in Journalism awards banquet during the fifth annual Baptist Press Collegiate Journalism Conference Oct. 13-15 in Nashville, Tenn.

Bill Sammon, senior White House correspondent for The Washington Times and a political analyst for Fox News Channel, will share his experience as a Christian in journalism. Sammon has written a series of New York Times bestsellers chronicling the Bush presidency and was with the president when the nation was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

The conference, with the theme “Prepare the Way,” also will include special addresses by other accomplished journalists, such as Steven K. Helling of People magazine, photojournalist David Leeson of The Dallas Morning News and Dorinda Carter of Nashville’s ABC affiliate WKRN-TV.

“We continue to try to move our event up a notch each time and I am excited about the enhanced program we’re offering this year,” said Will Hall, vice president for news services with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee and executive editor of Baptist Press.

Students may register by visiting the conference website, www.bpnews.net/journalism. Early registration ends Sept. 20.

Also on the website, students may view a schedule, find guidance for making hotel reservations, read about the faculty members and more. Additional information may be obtained by calling Baptist Press at (615) 782-8664.

Participants will attend general sessions — with special music by Sam and Laura Allen, recording artists from the Christian vocal group No Other Name — as well as breakout sessions addressing specific topics related to journalism. The event will culminate in an awards banquet recognizing the top schools and individuals who entered their work in the 2005 Excellence in Journalism Competition.

“One of the highlights continues to be the awards banquet. I think that the simple act of honoring excellent individual effort and outstanding school programs adds an air of excitement to the conference,” Hall said.

Breakout session topics will include news and feature writing, broadcasting, graphic design, magazine feature writing, public relations and photography.

For the second year, Baptist Press will present a $1,000 scholarship for the winner of the annual President’s Award to be announced at the awards banquet. The scholarship and award will go to a candidate who has shown sustained excellence as a student journalist and who meets certain academic criteria. The deadline for entering the President’s Award competition is Sept. 15. For details, go to http://www.bpnews.net/journalism/presaward.asp.

This year, Baptist Press is unveiling three new features during the journalism conference: a portfolio review, a résumé review and an intern fair. Students may provide samples of their portfolios or résumés to be critiqued by industry experts among the conference faculty for a better chance at getting a good job upon college graduation. The intern fair will provide opportunities for students to meet exhibitors and begin networking and learning about specific career choices.

“As always, we’ll have skill-building workshops and time for networking with professionals as well as time to worship and fellowship as believers,” Hall said. “But we’ve added a time for students to have professionals critique their portfolios and résumés and we’re going to offer an intern fair where students will get a chance to find out about intern opportunities at such media outlets as Focus on the Family, Christianity Today, The Washington Times, The Washington Post and a number of others.”

Faculty for the 2005 conference include: Morris Abernathy, Union University; Bill Bangham, The Commission magazine; Angela Brown, CompanyZero; Daniel Brown, CompanyZero; Andy Butcher, Christian Retailing magazine; Bob Carey, Gardner-Webb University; Martin Coleman, FamilyNet television; Michael Chute, International Mission Board; Berta Delgado, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas; Julia Duin, The Washington Times; Gary Fong, The San Francisco Chronicle; Joni B. Hannigan, Florida Baptist Witness; Sara Horn, freelance writer; Vicky Kendig, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Steven King, WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive; Jackie Marushka, Provident Music Group; Susan Mathis, Focus on the Family magazine; Terry Mattingly, Council of Christian Colleges and Universities; Trish Ragsdale, FamilyNet television; Harold Smith, Christianity Today International; Michael Smith, Campbell University; Jim Veneman, Union University; and Karen Willoughby, freelance writer.

“With the activities that are scheduled combined with the great lineup of speakers who will be leading the conference, it’s shaping up to be an exceptional event,” Hall said.

The awards banquet will be Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Sheraton Hotel in Nashville.
For more information, visit www.bpnews.net/journalism.

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