2014 National Press Photographers Association Advanced StoryTelling Workshop

Texas State is once again hosting the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) StoryTelling Workshop. This year, it will be held from April 6-11. This will be the 6th year Texas State will be hosting this workshop.

The National Press Photographers Association is a 10,000 plus member organization dedicated to the advancement of photojournalism, its creation, editing and distribution in all news media. Their members include still and television photographers, editors, students and representatives of businesses that serve the photojournalism industry.The workshop is being supported in part by Time Warner Cable News Austin through a donation of $5,000 to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“The primary reason for holding the workshop at Texas State is to involve students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in workshop sessions with professional media students,” explained Dr David Nolan. “The week-long program brings together the top professionals in the television and newspaper industry from throughout the world. This year students are coming from as far away as Denmark and as close as Austin.”

The NPPA Workshop will be held at Texas State for the 6th time this year from April 6-11

The NPPA Workshop will be held at Texas State for the 6th time this year from April 6-11

This year’s speakers are as follows ;

2014 NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop Faculty

Steve Sweitzer has over thirty years of broadcast TV news experience; shooting, writing, editing, field producing and operations management. Among his numerous awards, he has been Indiana News Photographer of the Year and taken a first place in the Associated Press reporting category. He is the owner of Sweitzer Productions, a multimedia services company. For fourteen years Steve taught a variety of courses for the Journalism Department at Indiana University Purdue University (IUPUI) where he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; the school highest honor for a part-time faculty member. He is a past president of the National Press Photographers Association and has received their Sprague Award, their highest honor for his achievements and contributions to the field of photojournalism. Steve helped create this workshop and is its chair. He also chaired the Airborne TV Seminar and, with the assistance of the Poynter Institute, he created the Virtual Video Workshop.

Boyd Huppert recently marked his 27th year as a reporter, including 15 years at KARE-TV in Minneapolis.   During that time Boyd has become widely known for his work as a storyteller and teacher. Boyd has presented more than 100 storytelling sessions – many with KARE photojournalist Jonathan Malat – at venues including Poynter Institute, National Writers Workshop, Danish Broadcasting, TV New Zealand and NRK in Oslo, Norway.  He’s been part of the faculty at NPPA’s Advanced Storytelling Workshop for more than a decade. Boyd grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin.  Prior to his arrival at KARE, he spent time at WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin, KETV in Omaha and WITI-TV in Milwaukee.   Boyd and his wife Sheri have two sons, Sam and Matt, in college. Boyd’s work has earned some of broadcast journalism’s top honors, including a national Emmy for feature reporting, the National Headliner Grand Award, three national Sigma Delta Chi awards and eight National Edward R. Murrow Awards. Boyd is also a five-time recipient of the NPPA’s Photojournalism Award for Reporting.

John Goheen has covered virtually every type of natural disaster to include a deadly tsunami, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados and more. He has covered many major national and international stories often working alone in harsh and high-risk environments. These assignments have garnered him countless accolades to include being named the National Press Photographer of the Year 3 consecutive times. Goheen is well known for his unique style of storytelling…merging great images with great sound…no matter the topic. His work has served as an example to many current day one-man-bands as a model of how to work alone to achieve success while presenting powerful and engaging stories. Today Goheen splits his time between freelancing and teaching. In 2010, he became a full-time faculty member of Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication where he teaches video production and documentary filmmaking.

Scott Rensberger has been in the TV news business for more than 25 years and has done just about everything. From the beginning, he has been a one-man-band. Rensberger has worked extensively throughout Europe and has produced stories in all 50 US states, all 10 Canadian provinces and every corner of Mexico. His work as aired from Denmark to Australia to Japan. From Spain to Norway to Seattle. The BBC calls Scott Rensberger, “The best video journalist in the world.” Rensberger has won a National IRE for “Investigative Journalism” and has also been named “POY” by the National Press Photographers Association. On the side, Rensberger works as a consultant and has trained thousands of journalists in more than 30 countries.

Jonathon Malat is a general assignment photojournalist at KARE-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In 1998, The National Press Photographers Association awarded Jonathan the Ernie Crisp Award, recognizing him as the National Photographer of the Year. Malat has been honored with six Emmy awards and an Edward R. Murrow award. Recently Jonathan has been a speaker for the RTNDA, NATAS, SPJ, and NPPA. He has served on the faculty of the Poynter Institute and the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop.

Joe Fryer officially joined NBC News as a Los Angeles-based correspondent in October 2013. Prior to that, he spent a couple months filling in for NBC, producing reports for Nightly News, the Today Show, MSNBC and NBCNews.com. While working for the network, Joe has covered Colorado’s deadly floods, Hannah Anderson’s kidnapping and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s resignation. Before joining NBC, Joe spent three years as a special projects reporter at KING 5 News in Seattle, where he covered some of the Northwest’s most important stories. In 2013, Joe won his second consecutive National Headliner Award for Feature Reporting. He was honored for “Ali’s Guiding Lights,” a story about extraordinary high school students who found a creative way to help their blind classmate achieve a seemingly impossible dream: driving a car. That story also earned the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Feature Reporting given by the Society of Professional Journalists, along with a Regional Emmy. In 2012, Joe won the National Headliner Award for “A Family’s Courage,” an in-depth story on the bond between a photographer and a family that lost their newborn baby. That story also received a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award and Regional Emmy for Feature Reporting. In all, Joe has received four national Edward R. Murrow Awards, including the prestigious Writing Murrow in 2006. His awards shelf also includes 11 Regional Murrows, 15 Regional Emmys, two National Headliner Awards and one Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Alexandra Garcia is a Senior Video Journalist at The New York Times, where she produces videos and interactive projects. Before coming to the Times in the fall of 2013, she worked at The Washington Post for nine years, where she reported, shot and edited video stories on topics ranging from health care and immigration to fashion and education. In 2012, she was awarded a Nieman fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, where she studied user experience design at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the business side of the publishing and film industries at the Harvard Business School and the future of television viewing habits at MIT. Awarded eleven regional Emmy Awards, two national Edward R. Murrow Awards and top honors in the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism contest, she was named 2010 “Video Editor of the Year” by the White House News Photographers’ Association.

Pat Holloway is an award winning photojournalist with WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Missouri.




SJMC student Gass-Pooré awarded $1,500 scholarship

0690579d50c899fb58b78c7df3fc52c1We’re proud to announce SJMC’s own Jordan Gass-Pooré has been awarded one of two $1,500 annual scholarships from the Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship Fund.

23-year-old Gass-Pooré of Sequin says she knew at a young age she wanted to be a journalist. “The moment I laid my hands on a newspaper, and my fingers were stained with black ink . . . I was hooked.”

Gass-Pooré has been a writer and editor for the University Star newspaper and reporter at KTSW radio station. She was also managing editor of the university’s Persona Literary Magazine. Off campus, Gass-Pooré has worked for several publications as a reporter and intern, including the Texas Tribune, Austin American-Statesman and The Austin Chronicle. She wants to practice investigative journalism and eventually live in Spain, writing for bilingual publications.

The scholarships celebrate the legacy of Bess Whitehead Scott, a pioneering woman journalist who lived to be 107 and published her memoir, You Meet Such Interesting People, in her late 90s. Scott worked as a reporter, teacher and in public relations. She was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.

This year marks 24 years and $53,500 in assistance to individuals studying writing. The BWS Fund is affiliated with the Austin Community Foundation.

Destination: Travel Journalism!

Fasten Your Seat Belt for New Texas State Round Rock Course

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This is your ticket:  a new travel journalism course offers no-fail formulas for successful travel writing and photography.  Get on board and register now for the new fall 2014 course at Texas State Round Rock campus.  Any major can take this course and there are no prerequisites required.  On Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Lecturer Patricia Baldwin, Ph.D., will teach students how to

  • turn one destination into multiple story ideas
  • use travel writing as a channel to other publishing genres including food, art, sports, nature, outdoors, politics, technology and adventure
  • pitch story ideas that editors want
  • find markets and media for publishing including freelancing, blogging, online sites, travel apps, guide books, journals, travelogues, scholarly inquiry and more
  • understand essentials about travel industry partners
  • navigate public relations agencies who specialize in travel

Register:  Travel Journalism MC 4382O.081 (CRN 19866) (no personal travel expenses are required)

Contact:  Dr. Pat Baldwin at p_b58@txstate.edu


Careers In Media class visits Round Rock Express

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SJMC students Zac Covey, Tyler Gaudin, Ryan Gonzalez and Emily Liberto met with Round Rock Express play-by-play announcer Mike Capps Tuesday at Dell Diamond as part of Larry Carlson’s MC 1100 Careers In Writing class.

From Texas to China: One Alumnus’ Journey

Mike McIlvain - Texas State Alum and Journalism Lecturer at the United International College in Zuhai, Guangdong Province, China

Mike McIlvain – Texas State Alumnus and Journalism Lecturer at the United International College in Zuhai, Guangdong Province, China

An Article by Alex Almeraz

Texas State Alum and now Journalism Lecturer, Mike McIlvain, is passionate about his job and is a great example of how to use trying times as motivation.

The Early Years

Mike attended Southwest Texas State back in the late 70’s and graduated in 1978. He first discovered his interest for Journalism and teaching back in high school. Before he entered college, Mike got a job as a General Office Worker for the Houston Texans of the World Football League. During this time Mike was exposed to broadcasting, coaching and marketing, but once he had a conversation with Chronicle Beat reporter, Tony Pederson, Mike knew he wanted to be a sports writer.

He began school at Blinn Community College on a Baseball Manager Scholarship, studying Journalism and after two years, transferred to Southwest Texas State in the fall of 1976. Being a Mass Communications major, Mike switched his focus from Journalism to Electronic Media and threw himself straight into the business by spending his time working for local radio stations.

Life Beyond College

As Mike got more into the radio business he realized it just wasn’t working out for him. “I led myself to believe that my working life would probably go that way after getting my Bachelors degree,” he said. “But the more I got into radio, the more I discovered that it was not the lifestyle I wanted to pursue.” At this point Mike was not sure what he wanted to do and instead just focused on finishing school. He does have one regret though, “I wish I had spent more time concentrating on raising my GPA.”

After graduating, Mike found his passion for the journalism and teaching field once again. He finally got his ‘break’ and entered the teaching field in 2007 at Texas A&M International University in Laredo as an adjunct (teaching assistant). In 2010, Mike became a full time teacher and is now teaching Journalism at the United International College in Zuhai, Guangdong Province, China. He always had a love for traveling, going to Spain 12 times and getting his master’s degree in London. After hearing about his current job from a family friend, he was adamant about applying. He got an interview and landed the job. Mike says, “I think it was a good move, and I would do it again. Not only is it a good career move, but also I met my wife here.”

Life’s Lessons

On his Journalism background Mike says, “the experience that I gained pays off well in lecture, and makes me much more effective than some others, but better grades outside of Journalism would have eased some of the transition.” While Mike enjoys teaching Journalism on a day-to-day basis, he has found that many senior college teaching is aimed at research, but he has yet to settle on any certain area to research. Mike has though, found interest in editing colleagues’ research papers in different fields ranging from sociology to business technology. He has the opportunity to read different subjects of materials and finds it quite interesting.

Mike’s story goes to show that life may lead you on many paths or journeys, but eventually you will find the right one for you. Mike offers one last piece of advice for all students, “Before I give my students a syllabus, whether or not they have had me or not before — they receive a handout and lecture on the importance of asking questions. It is a must for journalists, and certainly important for anyone intent on becoming a good college student. I had to work at becoming a good college student. It took a while, but I do not like to give up on any student, starting with myself.”

Cindy Royal named Charles E. Scripps Teacher of the Year

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The Scripps Howard Foundation has announced that Texas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication Associate Professor Cindy Royal was named Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year. Dr Royal will receive $10,000 and the Charles E. Scripps Teacher of the Year Award.  Dr. Royal specializes in teaching the practical and theoretical concepts of New Media. She completed Ph.D. studies in Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Texas at Austin in May 2005.  Dr. Royal teaches Web design and online journalism, as well as other courses dealing with communication and technology.

The Scripps Howard Foundation announced the winners and finalists of its annual Scripps Howard Awards during a webcast on March 17, honoring the best work in the communications industry and journalism education in 2013.

The Scripps Howard Foundation’s Awards

Established in 1953, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s national journalism awards competition is open to news organizations based in the U.S. and recognizes outstanding print, broadcast and online journalism in 15 categories. Two additional categories honor college journalism and mass communication educators for excellence in administration and teaching.

“I am deeply grateful for this honor, to be selected amongst a field of educators I respect and admire.” said Dr Royal. “I share this recognition with our students and alumni who have worked so hard to distinguish themselves in digital media careers. It is a great reflection on the quality of work we do in our program at Texas State.”

Dr. Royal will be honored Aug. 6 in cooperation with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication during the keynote session of its annual conference, held this year in Montreal. The complete list of winners can be found here

The Scripps Howard Foundation

Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is the  philanthropic arm of The E.W. Scripps Company, and is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development, literacy and First Amendment causes. With a special commitment to the regions where Scripps does business, the foundation helps build healthy communities and improve the quality of life through support of sound educational programs, strong families, vital social services, enriching arts and culture and inclusive civic affairs.

Google Glass comes to Texas State!

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The much touted Google Glass has arrived at Texas State! The School of Journalism and Mass Communications acquired a pair earlier last month and since then, faculty have been learning to use it themselves and introducing it to their various classes.

“I showed the Glass in my undergrad Web Design & Publishing class and my graduate level Advanced Online Media Design class. The students were excited about it!” said Dr Jacie Yang.  Senior Lecturer Jon Zmikly, who teaches the undergraduate Fundamentals of Digital Online Media course had a similar experience. “When I brought Google Glass to class, I got lots of oohs and ahhs” he said. “It was a great ending to my presentation on Google’s innovation, so I think the students were surprised to see it in person.”

As amazing and cool as the tool is, the lecturers and professors did feel there are still some drawbacks to it. “I’m an Apple fanboy, so I’m naturally not the biggest fan of Google technology,” said Dale Blasingame, another lecturer who has had the opportunity to try out the new wearable device. “Glass is not incredibly user friendly. The swiping isn’t intuitive, and it’s somewhat difficult just to get back to something.  But it’s just a prototype, so I’m sure there will be improvements.” Dr Yang also reckons that some improvements could be made. “I think it’s definitely a very interesting new tool but it probably needs more work on the UI (user interface). My eyes also get really tired quickly because the projected screen is on the upper-right corner.”

The ones who are probably the most excited about this new acquisition is the group of four graduate students who have been competitively selected to cover the highly anticipated SXSW Interactive festival this year. Priscillia Seelan, Melody Mendoza, Jacob Ehrnstein and Jordon Hattery will be covering the festival via the SXTXSTATE website. The project is now in its seventh year. “We’d like to use it to get interviews, some first-person perspectives through the Trade Show,” said Zmikly, who is also one of the lecturers assisting with the project. “I’m sure it will also be helpful for getting directions to various hot spots around Austin.”

This new acquisition is just another example of the SJMC’s effort in ensuring that that which is being taught in the classrooms is up to date relevant with the advances being made outside of it. “I think it’s so great that we can introduce the latest technology to our students,” said Blasigame. “Journalists, in particular, can hopefully see the uses for Glass. Any student interested in international journalism, for instance, should be salivating to get their hands on Glass. I just hope to continue to open their eyes to the advantages of news tech opportunities.”

A Bobcat Update for the Books

With only two newscasts into the semester, Drs. Tim England and Ray Niekamp stand proud of their students who write, report and produce the weekly news program Bobcat Update, after Thursday’s program went off without a hitch. England said that in his 20 years of teaching, he’s never seen a showcase-worthy report this early in the term.

“[Thursday’s] newscast clicked. The TV news crew and Ray Niekamp’s video production team performed superbly…students really put a lot of effort into creating the live programs. Under deadline, they work as a team. Thanks to my TA, Dan Seed, for keeping them on track,” said England.

In the newscast, SJMC student Isamar Terrazas put together a package (along with her photographer, Brittany Hansen) on what local and university officials do to prepare for active shooter situations. England commented that Terrazas-Hansen reporting went “above and beyond.” The piece includes sound bites from the police chief, a faculty member and the lieutenant governor.

Also, England said he was delighted that CNN, offered on its newsfeed a package filed by its newest national correspondent and SJMC alum Polo Sandoval. His story on Congressional efforts to raise the minimum wage is also included in the newscast his story.