A Message from the Media Director

By Jessica Ayers
CONA Media Director

If I ever decide to write the “Great American novel,” I will demand to write from Lee Hall porch, in the summer months, when I can see mountains. While my future editor might be less than thrilled about this, I will maintain that there is a secret ingredient in the air (or maybe the red drink) that allows me to not hate what I manage to put on paper.
As the conference approached more rapidly than I thought was possible last week, I found myself hating every “OMG! Blue Ridge in 3 days!” (usually with varying emoticons) status that caught my eye. I was no longer approaching CONA with the simple principle of: stay busy. I was expected to be a leader. I was expected to somehow convey that if you refuse to be bored, and take advantage of the truly active role being a media delegate provides, that between golf cart rides, bean counting observations, and presiding officer interviews, this conference can change you.
Fortunately, the dedication and creative achievements of the media corps this year made my anxiety moot. Never before have I worked with a team that works so hard, creates such original content, and participates so veraciously in the spirit of CONA. Never before have we produced an edition of The Blue Ridge Journal Sunday night, or packaged a story for a state broadcasting channel, or had an honest conversation about how to solve problems in our states throughout the year. Do not forget what you did this week. If you return home and find something that could improve in your press program, do not forget that you can be the one to change it.
At the end of my first year at CONA in 2008, my editor gave us each a journal. Inside mine was a quote from Gilbert Chesterton she thought was appropriate to what we had done that week. It said: “Journalism largely consists of saying ‘Lord James is dead’ to people who have never known that Lord James was alive.”
But, isn’t that applicable to what we are all trying to do here? We are all trying to say something through a proposal, or newspaper article, or devotion that we think the rest of the world should know. And, in my opinion, if the rest of the world conducted their affairs from the view I’m looking at right now, I’m pretty sure everything would be a little better.