In early June, nine University of Houston students traveled to Columbia, Missouri for a week-long journalism boot camp at Newsy’s headquarters where they learned to edit video, write and anchor. Newsy, which is owed by The E.W. Scripps Company, is a modern, national news network that creates quality video stories targeting a Millennial and Gen X demographic.The bootcamp was one component of a summer-long multimedia storytelling class offered in partnership with Newsy for the first time at the Valenti School of Communication. The on-site boot camp hammered the skills needed for the remainder of the course, where the students will work through weekly, remote assignments in Houston.
“I’ve always been interested in writing,” said political science and business administration sophomore, Annusheh Siddique, the editor of The Cougar. “I want to go to law school, and journalism is my pit-stop on my way there. I definitely want to work with Al-Jazeera doing international coverage, so I think there are a lot of places where the fields intersect.”As the class progresses, students will commit to one of two tracks: creative producer or content producer. Creative producers will dive deeper into video editing and animation, while content producers will perfect their writing and anchoring skills.
“If you really do want to do journalism - whether it’s writing or broadcasting - this is going to give you hands-on experience,” said Bethel Biru, a senior broadcast journalism student who also writes for the The Cougar.These aspiring journalists can read the writing on the wall. That message is what attracted them to this opportunity, in the first place.
“Print journalism is dead, so we need to be well-rounded. We need to know how to edit videos, broadcast and write,” said Biru.Newsy also has academic partnerships with the University of Georgia and University of Missouri, which also sent students to this summer’s bootcamp.