No matter what grade level you are in at this point, if you need to grab more journalism experience under your belt, reach and snatch for more opportunities as quick as you can. Do not expect the opportunities to come your way. Relying on luck and family connections do not guarantee you instant opportunities. You must have previous experience in journalism (writing & reporting news, photography and video skills) to continue.
In all honesty, if you want to be a journalist but are introverted, communication is key. Work in retail for a few years and you will learn how to associate with customers, coworkers and your supervisors. The reason for retail? Because it will help you enhance your ability to speak with the public. Here are some opportunities you can snatch while on summer break:
- Attend concerts and conventions where you will meet famous people. Interview them about their work and you will get an idea what they are about. Blog about your experiences and what you have learned from attending these events.
- Partake in extracurricular activities at your school. For example, join the newspaper and yearbook committees. Learn about these clubs and how they communicate with teachers and students differently.
- Make sure you go the extra mile and intern at a local newspaper where you will write stories, snap photographs and deliver newspapers.
- Lastly, when you find a story in your hometown that was not covered, jump on it immediately and begin the interview process after gathering information in regards to what the story is about. Write your story, edit it and you can do one or two things with this story (A: Ask your local newspaper if you can publish an article) or (B: Blog about the story before anyone else publishes it).
Even though I learned a little bit about Photoshop when I was 10 years old, I didn’t know how to use the majority of the tools until joining my high school yearbook staff and taking a photography class in college. Down below are a few tools I learned how to pick up on in high school and college:
On and Off The Yearbook Staff:
- Edited multiple image lighting (Brightness/Contrast)
- Coloring B & W Photos
- Changing Image Resolution to 300
In & Outside of College Photography Class:
- Using the spot healing tool to get rid of unnecessary junk on the sides and in the background
- Using the color balance to balance out the color of an image
- After coloring someone’s eye colors in a b & w image, I lowered opacity and fill to make sure the eye colors look natural
- Learned how to create a photography book with page layouts (using photo page)
Yearbook and blogging might be two different projects you are doing as an extracurricular activity and hobby, but there are some similarities and differences between the two:
- Deadlines: The adviser and editor-in-chief create deadlines for the staff because it takes one whole year to make a yearbook from front to back. As for blogging, you can choose when to publish your own work without being rushed by staff members and not follow through with a theme. In other words, you can post random ideas and subjects on your website without being hounded by your adviser and editor-in-chief unless you are working for a certain company that chooses different themes on a weekly basis.
- After you fill out a yearbook position application, you have to wait a little while before hearing back from the adviser. Unlike being on a yearbook staff, you can simply create your own website and create mini-projects, instantly.
- Deadlines: You create deadlines to post certain topics pertaining to real world experience. And you also have deadlines to meet your goal by getting the work done, edited and published for certain companies.
- Selecting Subjects to Discuss: Whether if you are interviewing students for a certain page in the yearbook or asking a relative about something from their past, you are publishing topics for the world to read and comment. In other words, your work can be influenced negatively nor positively, depending on what you published, how you interviewed someone and the words you have carefully selected.
- Creativity-You are free to be as creative as long as you know what to do and remembering your purpose of doing that certain project. For example, photojournalism: interviewing and photographing your subject for a specific blog post that you think is the most important for others to read for a certain reason. In other words, how does this subject affect my daily life? Or, how is this person a positive role model for everyone? Dig down to the creativity ditch and start on the most significant idea you have that relates to your theme. Visualize your plan and follow through.
Last week, I posted about writing captions for a yearbook. Well, today, I will provide new examples if anyone recently joined the yearbook staff and would like to know what it takes to write a terrific caption, matching your image.
Sometimes you can write a caption with a quote at the beginning or write a sentence introducing the topic before quoting a person.
Advice: Also, if you are required to write kickers above or beside the captions, try to make sure it matches the story because if you accidentally misinform what you are writing about, the yearbook readers can and will read over your part and move onto another page.
Try to prevent misspellings of any kind, punctuation and grammatical errors. These can be avoided if you proofread your work. I hope you all enjoyed reading this and if you need to share anything that you have learned from the yearbook staff, please feel free to comment.
Since every high school yearbook staff uses different companies to create a yearbook, I learned how to write captions for an image, use Photoshop vaguely and write my class division pages for my sophomore and junior year. If you would like to learn how to do any of these, and you are new on the yearbook staff or plan to join the activity, I will give you some tips from a picture I will draw.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment and I will do the best to my ability to answer any questions.
When I was on the yearbook staff back in high school for Fall 2009 through Spring 2011, I learned how you can re-word or write a caption for an image. Here are some basic examples down below:
Before: “Since the school had opened in 2011, we are the third students to graduate from here,” said senior, Jane Doe.
After: “Since the school opened in 2011, we are the third graduating class,” Jane Doe stated.
*Use action verbs to shorten the sentence.*
Then: Coach Doe, a former NY Yankees ball player, said, “We are happy to build a new baseball stadium in downtown New York for our players.”
Now: Coach Doe, a former NY Yankees baseball player, commented, “We are excited to rebuild a new baseball stadium downtown.”
*If you need anymore examples, I will be delighted to add other examples on here for you. If you are new on the yearbook staff, I wish you the best of luck and remember to use action verbs (present, past tense) in order to shrink the caption size down a few paragraphs.*
When you think of writing and photography, you will probably think of a newspaper staff or a yearbook committee, interviewing and taking pictures of students, faculty, staff and other people around the school. But the question is: do you think you can manage taking pictures and write an interview at the same time? It is not as easy as it looks when multi-tasking from interviewing someone to grabbing a professional camera and snap a photo of them. If you can do both, that’s great. With all of this new technological devices coming into display, it’s not as hard for you to interview and click the button on a camera because you can take images with your camera phone, Kodak camera or any other technological tool you can use to take pictures.