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David Minton

Students learn facets of modern journalism

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Work as a multimedia journalist has many facets.

It requires someone who can write a story for print or a broadcast package, shoot and edit video, anchor the news, blog, use social media, take photographs and upload them, among other things.

This week, a dozen high school and college-bound students are getting a taste of what life as a multimedia journalist is all about.

Through Thursday, the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas is hosting its first Multimedia High School Journalism Summer Workshop.

The one-week training opportunity, which began Thursday, is one of 25 high school journalism workshops nationally that’s being sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund, said Dorothy Bland, dean of the Mayborn School. Students are learning about storytelling and how to land a job as a journalist. Bland said she hopes the students form “a greater appreciation for truth, accuracy, ethics and deadlines.”

“I think it’s important to help develop the next generation of talent,” she said. “I hope the students develop a love for storytelling of multiple platforms and just a love for journalism.”

Jordan Gill, an incoming senior at Denton High School and Kristopher Eckstorm, who will be a junior at Guyer High, have served on their student newspaper staffs. They said the workshop has caused them to seriously consider careers in journalism.

Jordan said she latched on to the opportunity to attend the workshop as soon as she heard about it. She had considered herself an experienced journalist but quickly learned how much she didn’t know. Jordan, who will be editor-in-chief of her high school paper, The Horseshoe, said she’s jotted down several notes and intends to take what she’s learned back to her news staff.

“We’re constantly learning something, asking questions. We’re kind of forming new habits,” she said. “I think the knowledge I learned, I’ll be able to really teach them and make them more confident with it, and I am definitely going to be more confident standing up in front of them and leading them, so it’s going to be exciting.”

Kristopher said this week has been an opportunity to learn about skills such as broadcast writing, how to use a camera and how social media is used for storytelling.

“It’s all so cool to me, and it’s great,” he said.

Over the course of the week, students will cover stories on the UNT campus, visit the Denton Record-Chronicle and create a TV newscast. Students also will create multimedia content for a website. Then, they will show it off during a graduation ceremony at noon Thursday at UNT’s Willis Library.

David Tracy, the workshop’s director, said he wants students to learn, have fun and go home feeling that the week was worth their time.

“I think that’s what we all want,” he said. “I would like them to feel that they’re better prepared for a journalism career.”

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876.