Stories in motion: Students attend broadcast workshop at JEA convention

by Ella Yee, Co-News Editor

SAN FRANCISCO — High school student journalists sharpened writing, film and edit skills in the “Advanced Broadcast and Video Boot Camp” at the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention (NHSJC) on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

HTV Magazine adviser Dave Davis and his former student Brandon Goodwin, now Director of CaveState Productions, first discussed how to develop engaging focuses for video stories. Davis split the workshop attendees into pairs, and the students conducted five minute interviews to learn about each other. After the interviews, students shared ideas for hypothetical video stories on their partner’s interests. Aquila Co-Managing Editor Selina Xu (11) appreciates how the workshop showed her a new approach to video stories.

“Coming into this year, I approached video stories the same way as written articles where I would go to school events and just shoot everything I saw,” Selina said. “But from this session, I realized how important it is to really hone in on video stories and find a focus for the story that can really have an impact.”

Goodwin dove into technical elements of videography such as sound bites, interview framing and voiceovers. He encouraged students to incorporate “nat sound,” ambient noise from the surrounding environment, and series of shots that depict the same scene, called sequences. Participants explored the convention to find shots for their first assignment, which was to piece together six clips with “nat sound” in 30 minutes.

“I learned a lot [about videography] in high school,” Goodwin said. “I learned the most just by consistently practicing and publishing. And right now, video is so critical in every profession, just like reading and writing.”

Students shared their videos and received feedback on how to capture clear audio for “nat sound.” Davis broke down the broadcast writing process and instructed attendees to include an attention-getter, new information and story significance. The workshop leaders announced the second assignment, a NHSJC themed broadcast with live voice-over.

“It was really helpful how [the workshop] combined presentations with actual assignments where we could go out and shoot and also critiques,” Selina said. “The session was packed with so much useful information and feedback, and I’m feeling very inspired to improve our multimedia game.”

Davis and Goodwin invited students to perform their live voice-overs on broadcast topics like the convention trade show and travel jet lag. To close, the workshop leaders presented examples of strong video stories as encouragement.

“It’s always great to meet kids and teachers from other places that you normally wouldn’t meet and to inspire them to really do [journalism] seriously and do it better,” Davis said. “I’m always impressed with the students at NHSJC. They give me a little inspiration to keep going, so it’s a two way street.”