1. What makes the news?
NKU associate professor Stacie Jankowski led the first session on news values and presentation. Students learned which story elements makes something newsworthy. Using professional infographics as examples, Stacie demonstrated how visuals can present news ideas in innovative ways.
Next, students learned about essential voice recording apps to use for interviews. Mentors Sam Rosenstiel, Chris Robertson, Nate Weyman and Shawn McLuckie demonstrated how to record with affordable (or even free) audio apps, and modeled the recording devices the pros use.
For iPhones, iPads and Androids, the mentors suggested several apps for editing audio clips and quickly transferring to cloud storage. The students put these recommendations to the test when they recorded interviews with each other through the apps.
By the end of the session, students understood that recording interviews and audio is easier than ever in the digital age.
2. ‘Tell me something I don’t know’
To prepare for the afternoon press conference, Michele offered tips on how to construct engaging questions.
Students began brainstorming inquiries to ask the special guest, NKU President Ashish Vaidya, Michele revealed her secret to writing a good story: surprise.
Later, NKU Public Relations Director Anna Wright workshopped questions with students. She suggested several potential lines of questioning, including campus development, financial challenges, leadership principles and his vision for the university.
3. Coming into frame
Electronic Media Broadcasting professor John Gibson spoke about basic composition of photos and guiding principles for shooting video.
He and the students discussed why audiences are interested in stories and how to make them relatable. Stories should include a visual element such as a photograph, video clip, or infographic. The high schoolers learned the rule of thirds, different lighting techniques and importance of an appropriate background.
4. Pressing questions
NKU’s new president Dr. Ashish Vaidya held a mock press conference with the academy students. The students asked him a variety of questions about his past accomplishments, his hobbies, his morals and his plans for NKU.
“You don’t make change for the sake of making change,” Vaidya said.
Students asked about the pension shortfall facing Kentucky universities.
“Pension is not NKU’s problem by itself,” Vaidya said. He described the financial struggle as negative for the entire commonwealth, not just NKU.
“This is our issue to come together [on] and put the best minds to work,” Vaidya said.
Vaidya said he was looking forward to the next chapter of NKU’s progress. He wanted to improve NKU’s diversity while also making more connections to the community surrounding it.
His concluding remarks included gratitude for his warm welcome and advice for students of all ages.
“We are here for just a finite period of time on this planet, but we have a responsibility beyond ourselves, family and community that we should never lose sight of,” Vaidya said.
Afterwards, students reviewed their notes and wrote a quick article about the press release.
5. Now it’s your turn
After reviewing filmmaking basics and b-roll requirements, students set out across campus to conduct mock on-camera interviews.
The students took turns as subject and camera operator, focusing on framing the shot, using interesting backgrounds and recording clear audio. Mentors reviewed the footage and offered tips to create the perfect interview shot.