Saturday, December 27, 2014

Three 2015 resolutions that I just might keep... with lots of help from students

Myself, center, with the Owens Outlook editors. (Photo by Sean Ferry)
    Resolutions are made to be broken, right? Perhaps because they often focus on ourselves, and without much help from others.
    So I won’t waste my 2015 resolutions on myself. Instead, my wishes for success will focus on my Owens Outlook newspaper staff. The success of my resolutions will depend on us all working together as a team. 
   These are my joint resolutions for 2015:
1. Submit the Owens Outlook online student newspaper and its staff for the Pinnacle Awards.
   Pinnacle Awards, handed out during the annual College Media Association Fall convention, honor the best college media organizations and individual students for their work throughout the year.
   I have high hopes for this ‘little engine that could.’ As I scan over their photos and stories from this past semester, how can they not be strong contenders in a national contest on the community college level? I would even pit them against four-year schools!
   The CMA conference next year is in Houston. I can’t wait to sit there during the awards ceremony and hear our school called out.
2.    Start paying the Outlook staff and buy necessary equipment through ad and photo sale revenue.
The Outlook has a new paid student business manager, and I hope she hits the ground running. We
are looking at several ways to generate money:
·       Sell ads on the Outlook website.
·       Sell their photography through sites like Flickr or SmugMug.
·       Create an end-of-semester hard print magazine that features the best content of the semester, as well as fresh, longer-form photo stories. We are banking that local companies sponsor it.
   We were once considering going to a bimonthly print edition, but with a skeleton staff of under 10 each semester, and no journalism program to support it, that’s no longer an option.
3.    Recruit deans, chairs, administration, students and community members to subscribe to the online newspaper.
   The Outlook staff works hard to cover the entire Toledo campus, but we can’t do it without the support of readership support. We need their tips for story ideas, feedback on how we can do things better, and website hits to justify our existence.
   Lofty goals, indeed. So the Outlook staff and the entire Owens community need to work together to help make these resolutions come true!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Owens' Intro to Photojournalism course: The little engine that could

Intro to Photojournalism class, featuring Bittersweet Farms marketing director Shannon Dane, center. The class went to Bittersweet Farms to shoot their team photo story, published in the Owens Outlook student newspaper. (Photo by Lori King)
Dec. 4 Screen shot of Owens Outlook student newspaper.
  The end is here, and what do students have to show for it?
   In too many college classes, final grades and a stack of textbooks are all that tangibly remain once the semester is over.
  Sure, most students gain a heightened intellect in every class they take.
  However, potential employers want to see visible proof that their hires are capable, dependable and talented. This is especially true for students who are expected to have a portfolio to prove their worth.
  I am lucky enough to have the type of course that can provide that proof: Ten students in my Intro to Photojournalism class are the  ‘little engine that could.’
  Not only do they have required classroom assignments, they also are staff members of the Owens Outlook student newspaper, which covers a campus with about 13,000 enrolled students.
   Let me make this perfectly clear - these 10 students are the ONLY staff members on the student newspaper, except for Kyle, who will be taking the Intro to PJ class next Fall.
   This small staff publishes fresh content, including stories, videos and photo galleries, every week, and they don't even get paid!
   The Intro to PJ class is very progressive and task-based.
  • In only four months they learn the following theories and skills:
    • What news is
    • The Anatomy of a newspaper
    • How to caption photos using the Associated Press Stylebook
    • Create and maintain blogs, Twitter and Instagram accounts
    • Shoot feature, sports, portrait and photo stories
    • Write, write, write
        I’m well aware most of the 10 commercial photography majors won’t  go into the photojournalism field, but I’m confident these skills will benefit them in whatever field they choose.
       Alas, the end is indeed here, but their blogs, tweets and Outlook stories shall live on forever!
    Screen shot of Dec. 4 post by Owens Outlook EIC Katie Buzdor. #proud
     To view their individual course blogs, go to King's Klass Blog.