A Taste of Whats to Come!
The rustic red brick buildings and small-town feel of Ohio University is home to thousands throughout the year, and for this past week, it was home for me as well.
I recently attended a three day journalism workshop from July 13-16 at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism in Athens, Ohio. This was my first time visiting the university, and I will say I was quite impressed. Besides the gorgeous campus, there are professors, other faculty, and students at every turn willing to lend a hand, book or advice if you simply ask for it, and it’s a place where there really is something for everyone. With over 500 student organizations on campus, you are sure to find your niche. My heart is still set on Phoenix, but Athens, you have definitely caught my attention.
The first day I arrived started off with the normal check-in routine (getting my schedule, keys, setting up my dorm room, etc.). I was then joined by the other 120+ students for the opening ceremony, where we basically went through what to expect for the days ahead. The staff definitely had no intentions of wasting any time, as directly after, we had the honor of hearing Matthew Winkler, co-founder of Bloomberg News, speak about his experience in the journalism field. His speech worked around a common theme of how marketing is an important aspect of journalism that is too often overlooked. It was a topic I wasn’t familiar with, and there is certainly no one better to learn from than Mr.Winkler himself.
Thursday is when we all began working in our specialities. The workshop was split into five different tracks; broadcast, newsmagazine writing, photojournalism, mobile (online journalism), and sports. Personally, I was in broadcast. In my track we worked with Ugonna Okpalaoka, an executive producer of The Today Show, and Larry Seward, a general assignment reporter at KHOU. Oh, and before you ask, they were of course both Ohio University Alumnus. We had multiple sessions with them all throughout the day regarding topics such as interviewing, writing, and even editing. Later in the evening, Ugonna and Larry took part in a panel that was open for questions from all of the students about anything and everything we wanted to know regarding what a career is really like in the ever-changing world of journalism. I would have to say this was my favorite part overall. The two of them made a wonderful team, and it’s remarkable to look back and realize how much I learned from them in such a short amount of time. They offered wonderful insight, advice, and guidance all week, and I could not thank them enough for making the experience as eye-opening as it was. Last but not least, the whole team headed over to a Copperhead baseball game on campus that made for a wonderful end to a day we spent.
Friday was when things got right down to business. Around nine in the morning, we were split into groups of three and given a camera, tripod, and whole lot of freedom. We were instructed to make a package about whatever we pleased, as long as it was finished by no later than five o’clock. So, the countdown began. My group chose the topic of student media, and went on our way to film B-roll, interviews, and voiceovers galore. This part really opened my eyes about the variety of journalism programs in schools. Coming from a high school with such an advanced broadcast/journalism program, I found I already had a good understanding of a lot of the topics we discussed in our lectures, and performed most of them on a daily basis. However, I was working alongside students from across the nation and saw quite the variation in experience. Some students attended schools that didn't even see a need in the fundamentals of journalism, let alone a full blown TV studio or newspaper. I can’t express the gratitude I have to my school for making our program a priority, and allowing it to continually grow with me, and the rest of the students on staff.
To make a long story short, we did succeed in making our package just in the knick of time, and were applauded by those we admire most on a job well done. We finished the day with a trip to the Athena, the campus movie theater, to watch Spotlight. I’ve seen the movie multiple times before, but it just never seems to get old. The film included a plethora of examples of things we learned in the previous days, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to wind down after a jam-packed afternoon.
Saturday rolled around and suddenly it was the time for pictures, closing statements, and a lot of “goodbye’s.” I don’t know of a better feeling than being surrounded by those who share the same passion as you, and although I love the break summer provides just as much as the next high school student, there was nothing I loved more than being back in my element. Luckily, with the Ohio Valley Emmy’s right around the corner, I won’t have to wait much longer for my next exciting adventure, and I can’t wait to share that with you next.
Jamie Landers is a senior at Hoover High School. Aside from being involved in her school’s broadcast class, HVTV News, Jamie hosts “Up to Date,” a TV11 show that steps away from the school and community to focus on breaking down national headlines. She is also managing editor of her school’s newspaper, The Viking Views, and a special events producer for SVN.
Along with academics, she is involved in theater, Agape girls, a mentorship program with middle school girls, and is in charge of media relations for Hoover's French Club. Jamie hopes to attend The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism to pursue a career in broadcast