Journalism in the Digital Age Workshop Tackles Ever-Changing World of Journalism

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“It’s so intense, it’s like a real newsroom for this condensed time...”

By Nancy Curtis
NKU Marketing + Communications Intern

A group of aspiring high school journalists will delve into the ever-changing world of journalism beginning June 16 at NKU.

The Journalism in the Digital Age Workshop is a week-long camp led by NKU journalism professor Michele Day, which gives high school students the unique opportunity to learn about the world of journalism and experience their first newsroom-like environment.

This is the sixth year for the camp, which began in 2008. Day was more than happy to run the camp when the idea was posed to her because a workshop camp at Western Kentucky University is exactly what got her into journalism when she was younger.

“I just thought it would be cool,” Day said. “The journalism industry keeps changing, so it’s exciting to teach all those aspects to students.”

This year, eight student mentors and five faculty and staff members will participate in the workshop. Student mentors, all current NKU students, will work with groups of high school students to teach them different aspects of journalism.

“It’s so intense, it’s like a real newsroom for this condensed time,” Day said.

Junior journalism major and workshop student mentor, Kerry Skiff, is excited to begin the workshop.

“It’s kind of a nostalgic thing for me taking it back to when I first got interested in journalism,” Skiff said. “It combines working with kids and my love of journalism.”

The students will be tasked with building a story from different corners of campus. Students will take on stories ranging from the ongoing construction of Norse commons to the CINSAM aeronautics camp.

They won’t just be writing stories, however. The digital age is the big focus and students will be taught to build a story with multiple multimedia components, combining video and photos into their stories. They’ll even be working with social media, an aspect student mentor Heidi Rink, a business informatics and business administration major, is most excited about.

“Hopefully I can show these high school students how to be professional on social media and still be themselves,” Rink said.

According to Day, the high school students won’t be the only ones learning. She has learned skills relating to photo, video and social media from fellow faculty and staff members as well as students. She also sees that the college student mentors learn a lot about leadership as well.

“By teaching others, you see them develop their confidence,” Day said.

While the college students develop leadership skills and new confidence, the high school students might just develop a love of journalism.

“It is important to get kids in a journalism mindset this early,” John Flaherty, junior journalism major and workshop student mentor, said. “I think through this, once they come to college, they’ll be prepared and interested enough to work on a student publication.”

“It’s really encouraging to see high school students that are so excited about journalism,” Day said. “It makes me excited for the future.”

For daily workshop updates from student mentors, final products, more information about the camp, or to and register, follow http://nkudigital.snodemo.com/.

Journalism in the Digital Age Photos by Maggie Pund, NKU senior journalism major

Students showed Michele Day their introductory Vine videos during the 2013 Journalism in the Digital Age workshop.

Journalism in the Digital Age

Students read a sample story given to them by Dean Hume during the 2013 Journalism in the Digital Age workshop.

Journalism in the Digital Age

Students participated in a discussion about effective journalism during the 2013 Journalism in the Digital Age workshop.