Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Scavenger Hunts: Digging for Dirt

Years ago, I put together a scavenger hunt for my friend’s bachelorette party. I couldn’t tell you if she had more fun hunting down the goodies or if I had more fun creating the list of outrageous items she needed to collect throughout the night. I can tell you that it was one of the most exciting adventures we have been on throughout our friendship. I’ll never forget the look on her face every time she found (or begged) for an item on the list from a complete stranger.

Scavenger hunts are often reserved for special occasions and themed parties, but in my opinion, scavenger hunts serve a purpose in the newsroom, too. Plain and simple: reporters are on the hunt for stories everyday – little do they know that the clues are practically falling in their laps. Continue reading


November 16, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Journalists, the Library is Your Friend

libraryI feel sorry for the library. It has truly lost its glory in the past 10 years. Once thought of as the end-all-be-all place for information, it has been replaced by Internet search engines that quickly lead us to websites within seconds, minutes.

 No one takes the time to browse the library’s shelves anymore, leaving dust to settle on our nation’s most valued treasures – books. Continue reading

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching, Writing | , , , , , | 3 Comments

College Media Advising: Learning to Let Go

themontageAdvising a student newspaper is very much like teaching a child how to ride a bike. Cautious and slow at first, a parent is right there, guiding, supporting, and coaching. As the child gets the hang of it and gains confidence, you slowly push away and let him or her ride off on his own, watching his every move from a distance and hoping for the best.

 Sometimes the kid crashes, sometimes he stops himself, afraid to move on, and other times, he rides recklessly without any fear, throwing caution to the wind.

 As the faculty adviser to The Montage, a student newspaper at St. Louis Community College – Meramec, I’m just like that parent in the newsroom. Continue reading

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Things Every Student Journalist Should Do … Now

reporter_thumbStudent journalists are busy people. Beyond tending to class work, outside jobs, and attempting to have somewhat of a social life, they spend their days brainstorming story ideas, writing stories, gathering video and photos, laying out pages, and managing ethical dilemmas. 

They work tirelessly to produce fair, accurate, and balanced coverage of campus communities while also trying to inform and entertain readers. As the college media adviser for The Montage, my job is to provide the resources and training needed, guide and counsel students, and even serve as a sounding board when the pressure is leading to burnout. Continue reading

August 5, 2009 Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Teaching | , , , , | 2 Comments