Monday, January 31, 2011

Practicing patience

   It's been two nearly three weeks, and yet there are no photos to prove they're in a photo class.
Yes, it's by design. I'm keeping them busy learning what a photojournalist is before they actually act like one.
   By the time they snap that first feature photo for their blog, they will be soooooo ready to post it. And that's my intent. I want these students to appreciate that it takes more than capturing an image to be considered a photojournalist. It takes knowing their ethical and legal boundaries, writing accurate captions and having a growing sense of what news is.
   They have finally created their blogs. I will add their blog URLs tomorrow.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The power of the pen, camera

   There is no doubt modern American media has tremendous influential power in our society.
   The press helps determine national and local election outcomes; can bring down shady corporations through its investigative efforts; can inspire change and action at schools and dog pounds, etc., and can even influence society to establish change in our military (Don't Ask, Don't Tell).
    Because of this 'power of the pen (or camera),' it is absolutely necessary journalists are taught the responsibilities of truth, accuracy, fairness, balance and conscience at the scholastic level.
    In this Intro to Photojournalism, comprised mostly of commercial and computer art photographers, students are made aware early and often about these responsibilities to their local community. In fact, before they even take a single photo, they first learn the history of journalism, the definition of news, and the legal and ethical rights of photojournalists. And that's just the first week.
    The second and third weeks are spent creating their own blog. It will only take an hour to create the blog, but three class periods to teach them to be responsible with their new social communication tool. 
   By this time next week, there blogs will be up and running, and I'm sure they can't wait. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new crop of PJ students

   Classes resume at Owens Jan. 10.
   I'm very excited about this upcoming semester because this class is as progressive as the time we live in. The current curriculum is designed to give students a competitive edge in today's market.  Photojournalism students must be media social savvy, as well as educated in the traditional staples of the profession - shooting news, feature and sporting assignments.
   With that in mind, students will:
  • create and maintain a photo blog;
  • learn the legal, ethical and responsibilities of traditional and social media;
  • use current editing and multimedia software, like Photo Mechanic, PhotoShop CS5, Audacity and Soundslides;
  • shoot traditional photojournalism assignments; and
  • write AP style captions.
   I invite you to follow along throughout the semester. Individual photo blogs will not be posted until Jan. 17.