HS students soak up journalism at 2017 Diversity Workshop

Front: Jacquelyn Gonzales, Arizona College Preparatory; Katelyn Kubly, Sahuaro; and Amber Soland, Tucson High. Back: Elizabeth Noriega, Pueblo; Nayomi Garcia, Rio Rico; Judith Hernandez, Arizona College Preparatory; Alexandra Nichols, Mesa Red Mountain; Kenzel Williams, Cienega; Dayana Vega, Glendale Raymond J. Kellis; Lewis (Ray) Harper, University High; and Daniela Moreno, Pueblo. (Photo by Frank Sotomayor)




Eleven student reporters roamed the School of Journalism hallways and the University of Arizona campus during the 2017 Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students.

The June 4-10 workshop covered reporting and writing basics, media ethics, broadcast and multimedia journalism, design and editing, and different storytelling techniques.

By the end of the workshop, students had  produced The Chronicle newspaper and website, and multimedia projects. The program, sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund and Concerned Media Professionals, has been offered at the UA School of Journalism since 1981.

Alum Frank Sotomayor (’66) opened the workshop June 4 with an inspirational talk about journalism. Sotomayor told students how he began his career working for the Tucson High newspaper before working for the Arizona Daily Star and the Los Angeles Times, where he co-edited a series on Latinos that won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for public service.

Another alum, Michael Chihak (’71), news director of Arizona Public Media and former publisher of the Tucson Citizen, welcomed the students on June 5 and asked them why they applied for the workshop.

“I want to be a reporter,” said Dayana Vega from Raymond J. Kellis High in Glendale. “Bless you,” Chihak responded.

Other workshop students were Nayomi Garcia, Rio Rico; Jacquelyn Gonzales, Arizona College Preparatory; Lewis (Ray) Harper, University High; Judith Hernandez, Arizona College Preparatory; Katelyn Kubly, Sahuaro; Daniela Moreno, Pueblo; Alexandra Nichols, Mesa Red Mountain; Elizabeth Noriega, Pueblo; Amber Soland, Tucson High; and Kenzel Williams, Cienega.

A few students, including Soland and Williams, said they are trying journalism for the first time, and Chihak responded that “being pushed outside of your boundaries or knowledge area is not a bad thing.

“When you are a reporter, you find that you always are out beyond your boundaries,” he said. “Because even if you are shy, you have to be able to walk up to somebody and ask them a question.”

Kubly said she plans to go to law school after college, but “I wanted to see if journalism is something I’d be interested in.” Later, Chihak told Kubly that skills developed as a journalist — including interviewing, writing and critical thinking — could help her succeed in law school.

In other sessions June 5,  Professor Jeannine Relly talked about the fundamentals of reporting, including story ideas and backgrounding. Professor Susan Swanberg talked about media law and ethics, followed by beat reporting with Carmen Duarte of the Arizona Daily Star, and drones and 360-degree virtual reality journalism with Professor Michael McKisson.

Other sessions the rest of the week included interviewing, with private investigator Richard Wood; how to take video on smartphones, with alums Alan Davis and John de Dios; story brainstorming with Professor Susan Knight; design tips, with adjunct instructor Daniel Ramirez; radio boot camp, with AZPM’s Christopher Conover; writing, with Star columnist Ernesto Portillo Jr; and tips on going to college, with Paloma Boykin, academic adviser for the School of Journalism, and UA J-student Kirshana Guy.

Professor Carol Schwalbe and Ethan Schwalbe co-directed the workshop, which also included a talk June 4 by Stephen Gin of Bear Essential News for Kids.

Students also practiced their video-making skills after a talk and demonstration on rattlesnakes by Cecil Schwalbe. See video.

Dorm counselors and mentors are Zeina Peterson and Andrew Stieger. Instructors and mentors include Kayla Belcher (photo), Jane Bendickson (online), Danyelle Khmara (reporting), Nick Meyers (reporting), Stefani Quihuis (story development) and Alicia Vega (design).

The 2017 Chronicle website: Check out students' blogs and multimedia projects.
• 2017 Chronicle issue.  • The Chronicle archives

Published Date: 

06/05/2017 - 9:31am