Friday, September 22, 2017

In Pictures: WSU and Owens students learn about motion, depth of field

Owens Community College students  learn how to properly hold a camera. (Photo by Hanssel Martinez-Guerra)

Talking about the relationship between shutter speed and motion. (Photo by Hanssel Martinez-Guerra)
Wayne State University students learn about shooting for shallow and wide depth of field during class.
The Wayne State University Digital Photojournalism class of Fall 2017.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Changes are aplenty for the Owens Outlook online student newspaper

    Last semester the Owens Outlook online student newspaper was dormant.
    That happened because my Visual Storytelling class (which is basically the student newspaper staff) was cancelled due to low enrollment. Since I wasn't teaching at all on campus (the first time that’s happened for me at Owens in 12 years),  the Owens Outlook didn’t have an adviser (I was the adviser), and without an adviser (or the Visual Storytelling class) there was no newspaper.
   Thus, the Owens Outlook website was frozen in time. The last article posted dates back to Dec. 7, 2016, and it's still there.  
   Now I’m back, with a small class of six. But there are a few changes to report.
1. I am no longer the adviser to the Owens Outlook. In fact, there won’t be a primary academic adviser at this point. The responsibility for student media will be shared, though I have no clue of the details.
Our first published photo this semester from Visual Storytelling student
Cameron Reef. Each student will now be able to upload their stories and
photos onto the backend of the website. 
2. The Owens Outlook office is being moved from its current space, Room 156 in the SHAC, to across the hall, in the Block Student Government and News Center. Yes, you read that right. That office used to house both the student newspaper staff and the student government, and there is a huge banner sign saying the Block Student Government and News Center above the office door to prove it. That phrase “sleeping the enemy” comes to mind, though the student government is certainly not our enemy…. but you get the point.
   When I became the new adviser to the Outlook about four years ago, I fought like hell to break us up. So we were moved into a spacious office in the Law Enforcement building across the street. Loved the office but hated the location ... for two reasons: Again, we shared space with an entity we report on; and we were detached from the Center for Fine & Performing Arts building, where the Visual Storytelling classroom is located. 
   Then a year ago we were moved into the former Student Activities office across the hall from the Block news center. Now we are currently moving back into our original office in Room 156, but student government is now gone, and broadcaster technology majors are moving in with us. The Outlook office has gone full circle.
3. The man who has spearheaded the new Broadcast Technology major, Dr. Michael Sander, was then the chair of the fine and performing arts department. This summer he became the interim dean for the School of Liberal Arts.
   He recently told me that he plans to remain in charge of the Outlook Student Media Center. He has his ideas of how he wants the media center to run, but I don't know what those ideas are yet. This semester could include a few game changers. But one thing is for sure, Sander is committed to keeping the Owens Outlook alive, and I am very relieved about that.
   I was also relieved that he decided to retain the Outlook name for the media center, considering the Outlook has been a part of campus student-produced news coverage for decades, and now will remain so. Yes, changes are certain, and I hope that's a good thing.
   So, with my little staff of six Visual Storytelling students and broadcast majors to help produce the content on the Owens Outlook student newspaper, we will soon be back in business.
   However, we can’t do it without the assistant of Katie Buzdor, the former longtime student editor-in-chief. Katie has graciously agreed to train the student staff on the backend of the website, as well as be an editor in some capacity. We need to soak up as much information from her as possible this semester since it’s her last … she graduates in December!
   We will all figure out how to handle the production of the newspaper moving forward, so stay tuned.