The 2019 Journalism and Digital Media Academy kicked off with students preparing for their weeklong exposure to the world of media.
After briefly introducing themselves and meeting the mentors, students were given their first writing assignment of the day. Each took to a computer to write their bios for the Journalism and Media Academy website. They talked about who they are, their dream job, their favorite social media platform and some interesting facts about them.
The students were then introduced to the cameras they would be using and could take home. John Gibson, academy video director, briefly explained the basics of the cameras but assured them that they weren’t too hard to understand. The students weren’t shy—they immediately turned the cameras on, and a few began recording Gibson talking to the group.
Searching for the shot
Students, eager and equipped with iPads, set off to explore campus—trying to find shots for different themes.
The three main themes were: “Something Interesting,” “Something NKU” and a group photo.
Shannon M., junior at Notre Dame Academy, said she enjoyed walking around in the rain and taking photos.
Students collaborated with mentors and fellow students to achieve the best photos possible.
In the afternoon, students learned about the different news values of journalism. After a talk about ethics, they pitted one value against another to calculate the most important in journalism.
Each round was accompanied with a discussion on why the students believed their value was more important to journalism. The conversations led some students to reconsider their choice in the element. In the end, the conversation put creating accurate content against creating profitable content.
With a large majority vote leaning to accurate content, the students agreed that journalism comes down to creating accurate content.
Evan A. said to him, accuracy matters most because “if you don’t have accuracy, you’re going to get a bad reputation … if you’re not telling the right story, then people are going to think you’re lying, and you won’t be credible.”
Academy Director Michele Day said she wanted her students to learn from the activity.
“It was really satisfying in the end that they did come to the conclusion that it’s about getting the facts right over profitability,” Day said.
And the winner is …
While students were learning about different news values, mentors were helping Gibson judge the photos submitted in the Instagram photo contest.
Photography elements like depth of field, framing, color balance, focus and rule of thirds were considered in choosing the winning shots.
“I couldn’t believe how much the students were able to accomplish with just the camera of an iPad 2,” Mitten said. “I thought something that old wouldn’t be able to take great pictures, but the students worked around the camera’s limitations and got some really stunning photos.”
The winner for Best NKU photo was Savannah K. for her photo of NKU outdoor chairs after a rainstorm. Dakota S. won runner-up for his photo of the Gotcha Bikes on campus.
Kyle S. won Most Interesting Photo for his shot of a dress on display in the School of the Arts building. James S. also won for his picture of group member Shannon M. in a trash can.
Shannon M., along with her group members James S., Noah C. and Gabriella K., won Best Group Photo.
Learning from a pro
Professional photographer Bruce Crippen introduced students to the world of photography, where he showcased his portfolio—discussing his most recent shoots.
Students volunteered to have their photo taken, while Crippen demonstrated close-ups, medium and wide shots.
After the lesson, students took their own photos, using a variety of angles, shots and techniques.
“The real excitement came when the students got the cameras out themselves and started experimenting with their vision of what the world looks like,” Day said.