By Holly Moose
On April 16th, 2011 DRA hosted another of its hugely successful CORE Curriculum seminars, this time at the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Fresno. Having never attended a previous CORE and hearing nothing but rave reviews, I wanted to see for myself what it was like. Since I live four hours from Fresno and the seminar was set to start at 9 a.m., I decided to drive down the night before. I booked a room at the beautiful downtown Holiday Inn -– unfortunately, along with 100 high school prom-goers whose dance was being held on the top floor, unbeknownst to me. The revelry went on for hours. Just when I thought it was over, there was a huge commotion at the elevators down the hall from my room, where 25 of them had piled into one car and gotten stuck. Fortunately, they were extracted in short order and the rest of the night was fairly quiet. So much activity for the price of one small hotel room!
However, all that excitement paled in comparison to what I experienced at CORE the next day. Lois Ludwig, Karen Klein, Valerie Eames and Jeri Cain are to be commended for putting on such an amazing seminar. As chief presenter, Lois managed to squeeze a wealth of valuable information into four short hours. The material she shared with us was targeted not just to new reporters but to ALL reporters. It was quite humbling, actually. We seasoned veterans tend to think we know everything by this point in our reporting careers and that we have nothing new to learn. That could not be farther from the truth. Everyone in that room learned something, including the presenters!
Because it was a small group of only 12 attendees, people felt comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences, whereas a large group tends to be intimidating. We discussed topics such as when to go off the record, what to do if the proceedings are out of control, how to handle confidential portions of a transcript, what wording to use in your parentheticals, and much more.
Karen Klein, the creator of DepoMap, an electronic guide to the rules and regulations governing reporters, had the program displayed on the big screen and was able to pull up relevant code sections within seconds. I highly recommend it to every working reporter as one more tool in their arsenal to make them the best reporter they can be. How empowering to have at your fingertips the answer to any procedural question that may arise at a deposition. DepoMap is the best bargain in town, at a mere $35 for members, and can be purchased on DRA’s website, caldra.org.
Back to the seminar. The four hours flew by, and suddenly it was time to go. I found myself saying “Wait, but what about this; what about that,” wishing we had more time. Several happy attendees said they definitely plan to attend the next CORE in Sacramento on May 14 because they know that even if some of the same material is covered, there will be new scenarios and suggestions and valuable input, all worth hearing.
If you have not had the opportunity to experience CORE for yourself, what are you waiting for? You will be blown away. In the words of Karen Klein, “CORE is DRA’s best tool to create a higher level of competency, camaraderie and confidence in our colleagues and increase the positive perception of our profession in California. CORE makes all reporters look a little better each time DRA puts one on.”