July 19, 2010 Vol. 17, No. 11 Laredo, Texas
Preparing next generation of journalists and photojournalists By María Flores and Marcela Morán The Bridge Contributors During the course of a full week, Texas A & M International University Student Newspaper, The Bridge, along with two communication professors offered a summer camp to train the next generation of journalists and photojournalists. The camp, known as the Supermedia Patrol Camp, was the first newspaper camp for the future journalists and photographers of Laredo. The camp, proudly sponsored by Aramark, The Bridge Newspaper, the South Texas Writing Project, and the Department of Language and Literature, was offered from July 12 to July 16 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The summer camp participants were: Sarah Elizabeth Castillo, Olivia Galinzoga, Nisha Lakhiani, Andrea Martinez, and Mia
Morán. The camp was organized into two major seminars: journalism and photojournalism. The news writing class was instructed by Dr. María Flores, Assistant Professor of Communication at TAMIU. Every morning participants learned the different elements of a news story with an emphasis on the 5 W's of journalism (what, when, where, what, why, and how), leads, the inverted pyramid organizational pattern and closing statement. In addition young reporters gained knowledge of the different interview techniques and journalism ethics. Ethics was a major component of the writing seminar, “Ethics is the core of every journalist. Ethics should guide every reporter on a daily basis” commended Dr. Flores. During the course of the camp, young reporters were asked to write 3 news stories. For the majority of participants this opportunity was the first approach to a journalistic
experience. The first story was about a profile of a classmate, the second story was a profile of a character and the third story was a profile of TAMIU's outstanding university leaders. Dr. Flores' gratitude goes to Dr. Frances Rhodes-English professor, Dr. Irma Cantú-Spanish professor, Mr. Dan Lathey-Associate Director of Athletics, Mr. John Maxstadt-Head of Public Services of Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, and Mr. José Saavedra-Physical Plant for accepting to be interviewed by a reporter in training. All the girls' stories are being featured in this special summer camp issue of The Bridge newspaper. The afternoon seminar was led by Marcela Morán, Assistant Professor of Communication, and focused on teaching participants the basics of composition and digital photography techniques. Students were taught how to “make” a photograph rather than merely take a picture.
That is, they were instructed to pay attention to the quality and direction of the light source, to include visual elements, such as texture, contrast, line, and shapes, and to focus completely on the scene before them when making a photograph. In addition, they were assigned to make photographs that would compliment the stories they were writing in the morning seminar. Participants shot portraits and self-portraits, photographs of their alter egos, and photographs of individuals they interviewed at TAMIU. Their final photo essays dealt with topics of their choice. The most important requirement for this final assignment was that they be passionate about their chosen subject matter. The results proved incredibly rewarding as participants successfully made powerful images that reflected their enthusiasm for their subject matter. Professor Flores and Morán would like to thank The
Bridge staff for their support and assistantship during the camp, “we could not done it alone! The newspaper issue is a team effort. The Bridge staff did an outstanding job keeping the students focus and motivated through every activity. They kept a smile on the young reporters' faces at all times” said Professor Flores. The Bridge staff lent a hand with both seminars, “the Bridge Staff was amazing! They fully participated in all the photo assignments and their energy and optimism made every moment a memorable one” stated professor Morán. The Bridge staff that supported the camp were: Lilia Eskildsen- International Editor, Kimberly HernandezSales/Marketing, David H e r n a n d e z - H e a d Photographer, Jessica Rodriguez-Sales/Marketing, and Christine Rojas-Editor-inchief.
Photo by Bridge contributor
A summer camp experience By Lilia Eskildsen, Kimberly Hernandez, Jessica Rodriguez, Chrstine Rojas The Bridge Newspaper As university students, we often forget the importance in sharing our experiences and knowledge with those that are younger than us. Between school, work, the newspaper and our extra curricular activities, we find it very hard to participate in any community events.
Through the South Texas Writing Project, we were able to engage in a summer camp that allowed us to use our journalistic abilities to teach younger students. For a one week, we were able to take already great writers, and modify their skills to fit the journalistic style. Throughout the week, we managed to teach the students the six most important questions: Who? What? Why? When? Where? and How? They learned the importance of deadlines and peer editing.
While dressing up like the alter egos of themselves, the students experienced what it was like to step into someone else's shoes. The students learned to remove their personal ideas and moral values from their conscious while interviewing different people. This exercise was very important for the students to participate in because it allowed them to practice what the interview process would be like. As reporters, we usually find that we cannot control what other people believe
in and we could not possibly influence them in any way shape or form. The students also learned the basics of photography and discovered the art of the photo essay. The students were able to partake in the process of making a publication and the stress that comes with it. Overall, the whole summer camp proved to be a whirlwind of excitement, stress, adventure and extreme fun. As part of the newspaper, we are glad that we were able to establish our first summer
camp and have it be a success. As The Bridge Student Newspaper, would like to thank the South Texas Writing Project, the Language and Literature Department, and Aramark for making this possible. We also give a special thanks to the people around TAMIU that allowed the students to interview them: John Maxstadt, Dr. Frances Rhodes, Dr. Irma Cantu, Dan Lathey, and Jose Saavedra.