Evergreener attends student media conference in San Francisco

A first-hand account of a trip to San Francisco for student media 



Brandon Willman meets Warriors head coach Steve Kerr at the Warriors game March 11, 2023 at Chase Center.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief

Over three short days, the Associated Collegiate Press held its Spring College Media Conference in San Francisco and I was one of several hundred students in attendance.

On the days there, I went to around 11 breakout sessions hosted by various individuals in the industry. A majority of the sessions that I attended were about sports, featuring staff members from The Athletic, Associated Press and more.

From learning how to tell a more unique and compelling game story from The Athletic’s David Lombardi to being a part of a one-hour question and answer session with Alex Mather, a founder of The Athletic, there was a lot of learning done in the short period.

None of the sessions I attended disappointed me. Despite feeling rather short at just 50 minutes a piece, I feel as if I gained something from every single one I attended. Whether directly improving a skill, such as interviewing, or indirectly increasing my appreciation for journalism, there was not a wasted moment at the conference.

Even then, the highlight of the trip was certainly not the conference itself, but rather something that happened due to it.

On the final day of the trip, when I looked at the speakers for the sessions I wanted to attend for the day, I saw the AP’s Janie McCauley was the one who was set to speak.

Being that she is a Murrow grad herself, I strategically chose to wear Coug gear to stand out.

After the session was over, with the conference also being over, McCauley proposed a unique opportunity for me of shadowing her coverage at that night’s Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks game.

I learned the ins and outs of professional game coverage for AP from one of the best. McCauley, the 2006 AP Sports Writer of the Year, is one of the very best to learn from. As if it was meant to be, a former Coug in the Warrior’s Klay Thompson also made a very special gesture pregame to a local fan and wheelchair basketball player.


Not only was I able to shadow traditional game coverage, but I also came back from the game with a story on Thompson, including quotes from himself and his teammates as I was able to ask him about the gesture in his post-game press conference.

Nothing in the conference came close to competing with the opportunity to not only watch an NBA game in person, especially one of the two best teams in the league, but also be head-on shadowing a great figure in sportswriting.

Although not competing with that, independent of that opportunity, the conference and San Fransico itself was a joy to be in and there was a lot of learning jam-packed in essentially a long weekend.