Victor Webb instructs participants on video camera operation.
Spotlight Shines on
Calif. (April 17, 2001) -- After two decades as a radio
journalist, Wendell Harper of KPFA in Berkeley, Calif.,
felt it was time to learn some new media skills. Jeffrey
Harjo, media coordinator of Oklahoma's Absentee
Shawntee News newspaper, wanted to learn how to move his
news content onto the Web.
Harper and Harjo
were among the
who recently completed the
Maynard Institute Cross Media Journalism training program,
which focused on storytelling across a multi-media platform.
The eight-day program was held from March 17-24 at the
University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
(from left to right) Dana Plewka (Denver Post), Kristi Blackford-Bowden (Florida Today),
Alphonso Marsh (CNN News, Atlanta), Erin Texeira (Los Angeles Times) viewing video footage.
director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism hosted at his home an
opening reception, featuring a talk by MIJE
board member Nancy Hicks Maynard. Maynard, who recently published
"Mega Media," discussed how convergence is affecting the
business of news and the soul of journalism.
Throughout the week,
speakers and visiting instructors
offered expertise and insight into the
ever-evolving world of cross-media journalism. Emerson University
Journalism Department Chair Jerry Lanson and MIJE Program Director Erna
Smith teamed up to explore how working in multiple mediums can mean
better, rather than merely more. Other sessions focused on how
various media companies were implementing cross-media efforts,
and the types of training necessary to succeed in a converging media
Sessions also looked at
how to take a story and report it in multiple formats -- for instance,
how a newspaper story can run on TV, radio and online.
"Complex processes were
boiled down into digestible pieces," said participant Kristi Blackford-Bowden,
Florida Today assistant managing editor.
Not all participants received the same training. Non-television
journalists received hands-on training in producing television news,
including shooting video cameras, scripting newscasts, editing and
speaking in front of the camera.
Los Angeles Times
News Editor Gary Metzker and Melissa McCoy, assistant managing editor
taught the participating broadcast journalists how a newspaper is assembled,
from laying out a front page, to making the news decisions
that go into creating the right "mix." The participants were handed
proportional wheels and pica rules and asked to produce their own front
page mirroring the nation's second largest daily -- under deadline.
On the program's fifth
participants -- now divided into three teams of five -- learned to
build Web sites that would showcase their class projects which focused on
the 10th anniversary of the Rodney King beating. Participants had two
days to complete their multimedia Web sites. Web stories featured a variety
of people who experienced the riots from unique perspectives, including
30-year-old Latino graffiti artist who had been beaten in the riots
and 80-year-old African American Ella Jackson who welcomed the recent
rebuilding of shops.
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