By Kasey Ricketts, communications assistant, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – More than 60 students visited Campbellsville University for the Kentucky High School Journalism Association Spring Workshop on Thursday, March 15. The workshop was sponsored by the Kentucky High School Journalism Association – a statewide association that advocates for student high school journalism.
“This event helps us bring students to our campus and allows them to meet our teachers and experience what it is like in our classes,” Stan McKinney, associate professor of journalism and lead professor for mass communication, said. “They can get a sense of what it feels like to be a mass communication student at Campbellsville University and hands-on experiences give them a real-world taste of what it is like to work in media.”
The workshop had sessions covering most areas of mass communication including broadcasting, photojournalism, public relations, film, news writing, social media and graphic design.
“In today’s media industry, you can’t be pigeon holed, Jeannie Clark, instructor and director of broadcast services, said. “You can’t do just photography, just writing, just video – you have to be able to do it all.”
Students had all levels of experience and skill.
“I am really excited to learn new things,” Myricle Gholston, Campbellsville Middle School student, said. “I already work on some of our school’s flyers, announcements and other things, but I want to learn more to extend what else I can do.”
Classes were hands on, and teachers encouraged students to get involved.
“The acting and graphic design classes were a lot of fun,” Jolonte Porter, Marion County High School student, said. “They were engaging and refreshing. I got to try different things and gained a lot from actually being willing to get involved.”
This workshop provides students a chance to think about what the world of media is like and to explore their options.
“I brought my students here because many of them are high school seniors or juniors, so they are starting to think about their futures and choosing a career,” Laurie Followell, a Marion County High School teacher, said. “This is a neat opportunity for that real world, real college feel. I hope it helps them decide if this could be something for them.”
Zayne Peay, a Bowling Green Junior High student, said, “I would like to make the NBA, but if that doesn’t happen I could see myself being a sports announcer or writing reviews, so this was interesting to me because I learned things like being broad and keeping it simple when talking to an audience.”
The Kentucky Press Association operated the Kentucky High School Journalism Association (KHSJA) until Feb. 19 of this year. For a variety of reasons, KPA on that day dissolved the association.
Twenty-one years ago, KPA established KHSJA to be an advocate for student journalism in all Kentucky high schools.
McKinney, who has served on the KPA Board of Directors twice, said he hated to think the KHSJA would be no more. He contacted KPA officials and operation of the association has been turned over to the department of mass communication at Campbellsville University.
“I am very grateful that the members of my department were willing to take on the responsibility of overseeing the association,” McKinney said. “We all see the value in the association and workshops for high school students continuing.”
McKinney will be the director of the KHSJA for at least the first year.
One of the biggest tasks initially, McKinney said, will be reinstating a statewide contest
for high school students in broadcasting, film, photojournalism and news writing.
Workshops such as this one will also continue, McKinney said.