Billy Keeney

Kryton J., Shannon M., Evan A. and McKenzie K. sit in on Dr. Steve Bien-Aime’s presentation about fact-checking.

What you missed on July 23

Students shot practice videos across campus with their cameras, prepping for an upcoming shoot

July 23, 2019

On day two, students practiced taking shots with their cameras, interviewed their peers to learn how to get the perfect quote and worked with media professionals to gain experience in the field. 

Learning the basics 

Academy Video Director John Gibson started today’s lessons by showing how to make visually appealing video stories, with a video produced by The Northerner, NKU’s student run independent news organization, about a rally in response to Kentucky pension cuts.

The students dissected the videos by examining the angles shown, the types of interviews and the content throughout them.

After lengthy discussions, each student started forming ideas on how they could translate this lesson to their video projects.

Looking through lenses 

Campus opened up as the students roamed through NKU, looking for shots and angles for their practice videos. Students ran from Griffin Hall, reaching every edge of campus—stretching from Loch Norse, a lake near the front of campus, to the softball diamond.

Tyler G., Jack L. and Kryton J. spent their time in the Campus Recreation Center, filming community members as they climbed the rockwall and browsed the campus organization fair. Taking advantage of the opportunity to record subjects, they interviewed members from Norse Code Radio, the independent, student-operated radio station of NKU.

The three students got a chance to make connections with students on campus and learn about how student organizations benefit NKU. 

Meeting your audience 

NKU journalism assistant professor Dr. Steve Bien-Aime showed the students a list of headlines and asked which one was the most interesting. A unanimous vote was given for an article about three British men who claimed they ended up in Syria after a night out. Bien-Aime revealed that the story was fake, stating the importance of fact-checking stories and knowing your target audience. 

Students also attended a session on creating infographics for stories with NKU journalism assistant professor Dr. Alyssa Appelman. She gave them the opportunity to interview each other, gather data and make their own infographics with Excel. 

Bien-Aime and Appelman brought fresh insights and angles to journalism the highschoolers might not have thought of before. In a generation where timeliness is necessary, Bien-Aime reminded them of the importance of truthful story-telling, while Appelman showed that journalism isn’t limited to writing. 

Experience in the profession 

Students had the opportunity to experience three different sessions, where they worked with media professionals in their areas of expertise. 

NKU electronic media and broadcasting senior lecturer Wes Akers took students through a typical news broadcast production in Griffin Hall’s mock TV studio. Students learned how to operate and properly frame a news broadcast camera, how to be a news anchor, how to produce a newscast and how to use computer-generated graphics during a live broadcast. 

“I really liked controlling the graphics board. It was cool,” McKenzie K. said. 

Dakota S. said he enjoyed learning elements of directing, including working on the video production board, and “working together to make the broadcast pretty good.”

By the end of the session, nearly every student had been in front of the camera and behind the camera. Akers emphasized the role of journalism in all media production, whether it be news or sports, saying that without the storylines that come from reporting, the broadcast will fail regardless of how well produced it is.

NKU alum and WCPO real time editor Abby Anstead taught students, in 280 characters or less, the tips and tricks she uses with social media.  

Anstead encouraged students to have fun with their tweets and to not take things too seriously—when it’s warranted.

Students then had the chance to craft their own tweets—using techniques Anstead taught—such as tagging affiliated accounts, using relevant photos and emojis to add character and personality to their tweet. 

Students were also able to practice with podcasts and audio recording in Griffin Hall’s recording studio. The groups each took turns giving their own practice podcast and learning how to control soundboards with aid from NKU’s academic specialist Aaron Zlatkin.

In one pairing, Kryton and Zoey D. talked about their favorite parts of the workshop.

Zoey said that her favorite part had been seeing the community and learning new things about journalism, from the cameras to the way news is made.

“This is my favorite part,” Kryton said into the mic about broadcasting. “This is what I came for.”

Planning the story 

Academy director Michele Day taught students interviewing techniques with workshop mentor Josh Kelly. Day asked Kelly about his experience with The Northerner and Presidential Ambassadors. 

Kelly said, as a PA, he gives tours of campus to prospective students. 

“We are the president’s first line of help,” Kelly said. 

Day demonstrated how to listen to the interviewee and use their answers to ask follow-up questions. 

“How can I help these people enjoy campus?” Kelly said when Day asked him what he did as a tour guide.

In the afternoon, students planned their own upcoming interviews—drafting questions, prepping shots and researching their topics. 

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