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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Summer journalism workshops mimic employment environment

During summer break, students generally choose to spend their vacation participating in many activities such as going to camp, working or traveling with friends or family. However, as staff writers we spent a week at two journalism workshops- one at Stanford University and Columbia University.

As new comers to journalism, these summer workshops benefited us tremendously by equipping us with the basics. In the time span of a few days we gained considerable knowledge of journalistic writing skills, which, arguably would, have taken us over a year in journalism class to grasp.

Located in the hills of Palo Alto, Stanford University lays within an hour from downtown San Francisco. Life seemed relaxed on the one mile by two mile campus surrounded by giant palms and lawns. With traditional mission style architecture the campus magnifies its Californian heritage.

Gary’s classes there at the Newspaper by the Bay workshop consisted of eight hours of instruction in a variety of journalistic writing techniques from July 12-17. Along with guest speakers such as a broadcast journalist and an ex-Los Angeles Times reporter, the Stanford workshop offered a unique experience.

The workshop emphasized hands-on instruction with the participants being given daily assignments under the capable eyes of three supervisors.

The instructors were knowledgeable, each coming from varied backgrounds with diverse views. Gary found that the conference created a good foundation for a successful year in journalism.

Alec’s day at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association [CSPA] workshop began with an early morning run to Starbuck’s across Broadway Avenue before attending three classes per day during the second week of July.

The evenings in New York City usually remained free for homework and activities. He interviewed a lieutenant of the New York City Fire Department, Tom Cavanaugh from the NBC television show Ed and two journalists. The Columbia workshop emphasized personal development as a young journalist.

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Columbia University is compacted within two city blocks in between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues. In the city that never sleeps, the only change that appeared was the position of the sun.

Columbia’s many buildings combine ancient Greek architecture and modern dormitories. The University exemplifies the traditional Ivy League school with a modern twist. It houses underground seven basketball courts, a full-size gym and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The Columbia workshop emphasized applied learning by instructing students to write at least one article per class. Entering the weeklong seminar, Alec had written only informal journalistic material. While writing features, leads and news articles at the workshop, he forged a beneficial basis for his first journalism class.

Located on opposite coasts, the colleges offered many new and different experiences, teaching lessons and ideas aid in the task of developing an award-winning newspaper. Both workshops help enable many young journalists gain more information and techniques to further their journalism careers.

Students can find more information about the Newspaper by the Bay by contacting Gil Chesterton, Newspaper by the Bay director, at [email protected]. The Newspaper by the Bay will be held on the Stanford University campus July 11-15, 2004.

Students interested in the CSPA workshop in New York City can find more information at www.columbia.edu/cu/cspa/. The CSPA spring conference is March 17-19, 2004, on the Columbia campus. The summer conference is June 20-25, 2004.

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