View slideshow Stanford camp broadens media interest
During journalism camp, senior Brooke Stobbe learned how to be creative with a photo's frame by taking a series of pictures around Stanford University's campus of different objects, lighting and scenes.
I didn't want to go. It was the opportunity of a 17-year-old's lifetime, and I was uninterested enough to make Stanford University sound unattractive.
After teaching an hour-long seminar at the National Scholastic Press Association's journalism convention in Anaheim on April 16, I received an e-mail from a woman by the name of Beatrice Motamedi, a teacher, writer and youth media advocate based in Oakland, California. She had succeeded directory of a summer broadcast journalism camp called Newsroom by the Bay in Palo Alto, California, and wanted me to consider attending.
The camp sounded beneficial for my still-premature skill sets because, according to the Newsroom by the Bay, it was to focus on creating video, soundslides and other interactive aspects of online journalism. Seeing as I was either bad at or didn't know how to do any of these things, going to journalism camp wasn't exactly appealing.
I knew I would end up enjoying the experience and it would be ultimately advantageous, but I dreaded spending a week learning and shooting video, which is my least favorite aspect of my position on The Feather staff. Nonetheless, I submitted the application and began feeling optimistic about my upcoming adventure on the Stanford campus.
My application was received with a request to be the camp's first counselor-in-training (CIT). Honored that the camp created the staff position specifically for me, I took it on with pride.
When I e-mailed the Newsroom by the Bay's co-directors, Paul Kandell and Motamedi about my position as a CIT, we realized that none of us knew what my "job discription" entailed. I was half camper, half team leader.
"My knowledge and interest in broadcast journalism developed as I learned more tricks and skill in the craft. I look forward to next year and hope to again be invited as an official team leader." --Brooke Stobbe, '12
I went to a staff meeting on June 25 to brief about first aid, schedules and our daily routine before the campers arrived in the evening. I was by far the youngest person in the room, the next being 23. I became the "go-to" about high school behavior and effective disciplinary tactics because the campers were, after all, around my age.
The structure of the camp was as follows: The campers, myself included, were divided into three teams for the morning and into four online newspapers for afternoons. From breakfast to lunch, the three teams rotated through classes. After lunch, students divided into their newspaper staffs and met with their team leader -- the adviser of their newspaper -- to plan the site's theme and talk about article, video and slideshow ideas. Until dinner, the reporters went around campus to write, film and capture stories. After dinner consisted of seminars and work time.
Multimedia Anchor Brooke Stobbe, '12.
For the first part of the week during reporting time, I went with other team leaders to a coffee shop to edit articles that our newspaper reporters had turned in and talk about what we do outside of journalism camp. The last days of camp I reported with the rest of my team and sent in my finished work. Since I was only half team leader, I had a co-team leader for my newspaper, The Courier.
The classes were jammed full of information I didn't know, and ended up not retaining -- thank goodness for laptops and note-taking. However, the information deemed useful and I gained experience, ideas and inspiration from the camp.
Despite having my own dorm room, the four girls across the hall basically became my roommates. Those girls, along with the many that hung out in the room with us, made the experience lighthearted because they brought fun and friendship into the extremely stressful and overwhelming environment of the camp.
Although we were on different newspaper staffs, we reported and wrote different articles with the same interview and spent our late nights working on our projects together. Through the frustration of our nightly deadlines and the information overload from morning classes, we stuck together and ended up enjoying the camp because of each other.
However, I was there to learn, which inherently entailed going to bed after midnight and trying to complete still unfinished articles during my morning classes. Coming up with stories was hard since our website had a theme to stick with, and creating the article, video and slideshow took forever. Despite this, I loved working together with everyone in the lounge or dorm room because we all had a common goal: get this done and go to bed.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed the camp experience. My knowledge and interest in broadcast journalism broadened as I learned more tricks and skill in the craft. I look forward to next year and hope to again be invited as an official team leader.
For more columns, read the Aug. 29 article, Philippines mission trip revered.