Don’t Be Afraid to Get Close


Sydney Wege

John Gibson teaching the students about filming

It’s a concern for any mentor or teacher in workshops like this, that students to get too hung up on staying with their “first day groups” throughout their week-long experience.  This year’s participants in the Journalism in the Digital Age Workshop, however, seemed to be getting more adventurous by the second day of the event. 


After completing their first attempt at writing a story about the press conference, they moved on to a new lesson: shooting video for a web story


A buzz filled the room as students learn more about their cameras and how to shoot a proper web story.  John Gibson, NKU media producer and mentor, shared a plethora of tips and advice, such as:

  • A squared, well-planted stance can be an alternative tool to the tripod when out in the field.
  • If you have the interviewees spell their names out on camera, it makes it easier to check for spelling errors later in post-production.
  • Recording audio on a cell phone actually has better quality than a camera as a phone is built specifically to pick up audio in a enhanced and clear way.

“I’ve never thought of the technological side of filming,” said Sarah Krebs, a junior at Newport Central Catholic High School. “I didn’t realize there was so much involved into creating one video.”


Students tested their new-found lessons as they stationed themselves in different parts of Griffin Hall to shoot and interview each other.  Many of them had trouble setting up the tripods, but they weren’t discouraged.


Vance Underwood, a junior at Mason County High School, had a tough time with his camera. “I hope to improve as the week goes on,” he said. “I’m just hard on myself.”


Not only did the participants work through their dilemmas, they made sure to branch out and meet other people.  Even at lunch, they sat together at one table instead of small, separate groups like the first day.  They were following the advice of Dean Hume, who led a session on interviewing in the morning.


“Dean Hume said to get to know each other, and I think we really took that to heart,” said Grace Hall, a sophomore at Mount Notre Dame in Cincinnati, as she packed her belongings away for the day. “We’ll just keep getting closer from here on out.”
The last half of the day may have echoed the words of Gibson, who said during their session: “Don’t be afraid to get close.” Although this was meant to be toward their use of their cameras during shoots, it could definitely apply to the enthusiasm to become a whole group instead of a separate one.