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The fascinating things we learn on our Texas State trips

CNN International news anchor Ralitsa Vassileva gestures during her presentation during Mass Communication Week at Texas State University in 2007, which VMT Communication students attended. Alyssa Garza and Jessica, Rodriguez, file photo (Alyssa, in the photo credit line, was a Magnet Tribune columnist and editor, and graduated from Nixon and from Texas State in August 2012.)

The Magnet Tribune: Alyssa Garza

CNN International news anchor Ralitsa Vassileva gestures during her presentation during Mass Communication Week at Texas State University in 2007, which VMT Communication students attended. Alyssa Garza and Jessica, Rodriguez, file photo (Alyssa, in the photo credit line, was a Magnet Tribune columnist and editor, and graduated from Nixon and from Texas State in August 2012.)

Mark Webber, Instructor

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Originally published Friday, November 2, 2012

Going to Mass Comm Week has taught me so much! I hope students have also learned a lot.

Every year is an eye opener. It’s meant so much personal growth for me, and I’m sure students learn a lot.

We’re privileged to attend sessions for free that cost others thousands of dollars in university tuition, residence hall fees, meal tickets, books, and transportation.

Being able to listen to world-class media people talk about their lives and work is priceless. Here are a couple of examples.

–Ralitsa Vassileva, CNN International news anchor, 2007. She spoke about her life and work under Communist rule in Bulgaria, and what the fall of Communism meant to the media, and how newspapers, and radio and television stations had to remake themselves. It is a fascinating story.

What didn’t come out in The Magnet Tribune story was her move (with her son) to Atlanta to begin work with CNN. As I recall: when she arrived in Atlanta (where CNN is located) she had one suitcase. CNN sent two Suburbans thinking she’d have a lot of luggage. She said she was shocked at the idea that people would need Suburbans to carry their belongings, and the CNN people were shocked that she had all of her belongings in one suitcase.

Later. came more culture shock. Coworkers took her to a supermarket to buy food, and she was overwhelmed with how much was available to customers. She said she was used to going to a tiny government-run store and getting whatever little was available, and even having to stand in line to get her meager purchases. (Here’s a bio on CNN.)

–Dallas attorney Brian Cuban, 2009. Cuban is the brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, in case the last name sounded familiar to you.

Brian Cuban spoke about hate speech, people’s First Amendment Rights, and Facebook. His presentation was titled, according to our story, “The 1st Amendment, the Internet, and Hate Speech.”

“People use Facebook to start a group and to express their hatred, even though it violates Facebooks’ Terms of Service,” Cuban told us.

He went into details on how he’d contact Facebook to complain about sites that urged hatred of others, and his efforts to have the social media site close them down. (Here’s another story.)

As I recall, he described a small staff was having to deal with thousands of complaints pouring in daily.

The framed newspaper next to the big window is autographed by John Quiñones, ABC News reporter for 20/20 and Primetime. We saw him in 2006. Here’s the link to the story. I’ve also posted a photo we ran with our story.

I look forward to next year’s trip and hope to learn something new!

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A state- and nationally recognized student newspaper
The fascinating things we learn on our Texas State trips