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Central Valley students attend publications workshop

The Central Valley is home to a variety of high school publications and video production classes. The students of the San Joaquin Valley represent the future of the area, which is why Fresno City College hosted the second High School Journalism Day, an event designed to promote media literacy in teens across the Valley, March 9.

The event began with a panel which was moderated by Kathleen Shock, Director of Media and Development at Fresno State and was held in Fresno City College at the Old Administration Building. The panel included various members of the journalistic community including Joe Wirt, Michael Carr, Gordon Webster, Lisa Boyles and Mike Oz.  

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Students who attended the event listened to local journalists.

The panel answered various questions, from what an employer looks for in a prospective hire, to some of the panel’s experiences in the industry. After the panel, the Master of Ceremonies, Graciela Moreno of ABC 30, gave a speech to open the event and students were then dispersed to go to their respective workshops.

The workshops included a varying topics such as photography, sports news, social media and podcasting. The workshops were hosted by a variety of local media experts in their specific fields.

A student and attendee of the event, Natalie Rodriguez, ‘19, from Sunnyside High School, shares why she came to the event.

“I came with my school to this event,” Rodriguez said. “I am part of the video productions academy at my school and this event is part of our grade. I’ve always found video very interesting and I thought it would be cool to study it in high school. Being in a film class has really helped me appreciate film; I see how much time and effort are put into a film and it makes me admire those who dedicate their lives to film.”

 Naomi Behrens of Monache High school shared the highlights of her day at FCC.

“I was already kind of interested in journalism, so I think this (event) really kind of really strengthen that,” Behrens said. “I’m going get a lot more into video productions in journalism because that’s kind of what I do. I can do some photography but I focus more on video editing and I’ve also occurred on our new show a couple of times.”

This is the second year of the Fresno City journalism conference. Dr. Dympna Ugwu-Oju, founder of the event, worked with various local organizations to fund the event and organize the speakers.

As adviser of FCC’s  The Rampage Online, Dr. Ugwu-Oju shared her reasons for hosting the journalism day for local students.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Reporter for ABC 30, Graciela Moreno, delivers a speech to students at Fresno City Journalism day.

“At Fresno City College, I’m the adviser and when my students come to me, most of them have never been in any kind of situation like this,” Dr. Ugwu-Oju said. “I thought it would be great that even as high school students that they get a chance to go out there to meet others. To begin to think of themselves in this situation, as Fresno City College students, even as a journalist. So that ahead of them coming in to be my students they already started to think about what they would like to accomplish in the field of journalism.”

In addition to Dr. Ugwu-Oju’s efforts, there were also people who ran the workshops and seminars. A few of the speakers shared their experiences regarding journalism and other items.

Michael Carr, News Director for ABC 30, expresses his motivation for supporting this event.

“It’s crucial that we really get in touch with and talk to young and aspiring journalists about this industry because this is the future of the business that we’re in, that I’m in,” Carr said. “Not only is it important to help young people understand the importance of journalism, but to develop a passion for it because you guys are going to be the ones who are telling our stories for the next generation.”

Features reporter for the Fresno Bee, Carmen George, presented the Writing for the Newspaper class. George shared his motivation for being a journalist.  

“I really love using human emotions to draw people in to understand a greater issue,” George said. “I do a lot of profiles and feature stories where I try to use the human voice to connect people to bigger ideas. My favorite part of my job is feeling like I’m making a difference in some way. I love writing about intense issues by using people’s stories to make the public care. Poverty, homelessness, addiction, human trafficking, are all things that people care about when they are tied to another human. Deadlines are always a challenge in my line of work. You have to know when you’ve got enough and you have to move on to another story even when you want to keep going with one.”

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Experts from various fields share insights into their career with student journalists.

Professor Candace Egan of Fresno State, decided to share helpful information with student journalists.

“My hope was just to give some ideas and tips on video and on photography that would help students that are here,” Egan said. “Not everyone has background in photography or video and yet today’s journalist have to be able to do all of that. I suppose one of the lasting lessons aside from specific this tip or that tip is the idea that you can learn from the past and that things that have been done for many years are still valid.”

Writer for the Feather, Andrew Rieker, ’21 shared what he learned at this event.

“I would say that I learned a lot pertaining on how to make an article appealing and how to make readers become interested,” Rieker said. I definitely want to go next year and I think I will take some of the same sessions.

For more information on this event read: ABC 30 Fresno City College holds ‘journalism day’.

For more information on local journalism check out: A spotlight on Fresno area student journalism.

To get involved in journalism, talk to a local high school journalist, or media adviser. To write a guest column for The Feather, refer to The Feather’s website sidebar.

For more articles read: The Feather takes NYC 2018: Day 2 Recap or Fresno Christian hosts 35th annual auction.

Slideshow below includes images from Fresno City College Journalism Day.

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This writer can be reached via Twitter @MatthewSue1 and via email: Matthew Sue.

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