Student voices: grasping the techniques of journalism

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When I arrived on the campus of Oregon State University, I was afraid of being the least experienced writer and maybe being judged by my peers. Something I’ve enjoyed about camp so far is that it feels like a safe space to develop writing skills and get constructive feedback from mentors.

After being at the camp for only a few days, I have already learned different techniques that have helped me develop my articles and my writing skills as a whole. I interviewed my pair, Sophie, and wrote a profile about something important in her life. After my first interview, I had great information and quotes, but I had barely scratched the surface to get all the information I needed for my profile. It wasn’t until I had my encore with Sophie that I took my angle and found the more emotional aspect of the subject I was writing about.

It really surprised me that the second interview was very necessary to write the profile and delve into what the subject means to her. This revelation also taught me that I will need to ask deeper questions that really bring out the more emotional side of a subject and why they do what they do, what motivates them.

When we had our photography workshop, a few things surprised me that I was advised against taking a photo, such as pointing the camera directly at the light. In the past I had been criticized and told that my photos were overexposed and the brightness would draw the viewer’s eye to that instead of the subject of the photo.

Besides learning that a news photographer can never alter the scene they capture, it could mean their entire career and reputation. It would be as if they staged their photo. During our photography workshop I learned that the eye is actually first drawn to the top left corner of a photo, this is partly because of the direction we as English speakers, let’s read.

I made so many friends and everyone is so easy to get along with, open and fun to work with. It’s like I’ve known everyone for months instead of days, we all clicked pretty quickly and tried to include everyone in the activities.

I look forward to learning new skills over the week and seeing how everything I learn will reflect on my abilities, while having more experiences with other people here.

— Mindy Moradi, Glencoe High School

This blog post was produced by a student journalist as part of the High School Journalism Institute, an annual collaboration between The Oregonian/OregonLive, Oregon State University and other Oregon media organizations. For more information or to support the program, go to oregonlive.com/hsji.

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