As the title to this post suggests, week two of the Midtown Magazine Journalism Camp is in the bag. It had it’s share of surprises, but all in a good way.
First, I’m very proud of the group I have the privilege of assisting, one that earned the distinction of being the first to complete a story.
Not that we had time to bask in the accomplishment. On Wednesday morning, we were informed that the business we had planned to profile was not ready for us, and that in its place a last-minute substitute had been found. Forgive me for not revealing the names of these businesses, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise before our articles are published. I’ll just say that the interview and tour we were given exceeded my expectations.
It would help, however, if the story really could write itself, because upon returning to John Hopkins Middle, one of the camp’s organizers informed us that the company we had originally been scheduled for would be able to see us the following morning. Are we up to the challenge of carrying an extra story? “We can do it,” I casually replied.
Which means — amidst the press conferences, tangential conversations and obligatory snack times — we’re committed to finishing three stories before Thursday. And we will find a way to get them done. Welcome to the world of journalism, kids.
Is that just overconfidence talking? Stay tuned and find out.
Today marks the end of my first week as a volunteer for Midtown Summer Journalism Camp, a joint effort of John Hopkins Middle School, Melrose Elementary and Lakewood High, my alma mater. Go Spartans.
The three-week program helps students from J. Hop and Melrose hone their skills as journalists, sending them out to cover various businesses and citizens in the Midtown area of St. Petersburg.
Some of the volunteers are high school students, while others I’ve met are photographers and writers for The St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune. I believe a few are students from Eckerd College, which helps fund the camp.
Each day, we mentor the pair of students we’ve been assigned to (or, in my case, assigned themselves to me), assisting them with their newsgathering and writing.
Today, the team I’m working with went out on their first interview and did a commendable job. We’ve got do some follow-ups, but should have the article done by Tuesday. Then, as reporters well know, it’s on to the next story.
My experience at the camp has been nothing but positive, as was the volunteer work I did over the past three months for John Hopkins’s journalism program. There’s a reason why J. Hop and Melrose are consistently recognized as the best student newspapers in the nation in their respective categories — the teachers and students are that talented and dedicated.
Stories and photos produced by the camp will be published in Midtown Magazine, which will be available at the “Midtown: Through Our Eyes” exhibit scheduled for Oct. 2-11 at Studio@620.
Posted in civic journalism, journalism education, News
Tagged blogging, John Hopkins Middle School, Melrose Elementary, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Times, Studio@620, Tampa Tribune, journalism camp, Midtown, Lakewood High School, Midtown Magazine