By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
I was going through my Google Reader folder on journalism when I saw an announcement from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism that it was creating J-Camp to offer the latest in multimedia training.
CUNY created J-Camp to offer efficient, yet affordable training for journalists, said Jeremy Caplan, a visiting professor at CUNY and a contributor to Time magazine. “We wanted to expand the classes we teach from the graduate school into the community,” he said. “The school has tried to do this in the past, and we’re trying it again. We want to have a good offering of courses and teach them multiple times.”
The university saw high demand for quality, low-cost multimedia training, said Caplan. “There’s many out there, but many of them are too expensive for journalists,” he said, “so CUNY wanted to create its own niche for training. We wanted it to be efficient, effective and affordable.”
CUNY will also expand the reach of the program through a plan to offer free training to media-related non-profit organizations, said Caplan. “Our main focus will be on journalists in transition, but there are other organizations with media-related functions that can also use help,” he said. “They also need to learn things like how to use video or how to participate in social media as a way to reach out to their communities.”
“We have state-of-the art equipment and facilities, and empty seats in our classes. So why not invite those who can use the training,” Caplan noted. “We hope to launch that in the fall.”
Classes already on the J-Camp schedule include 10 Tips for Taking Better Photos Sept. 28, Making the Most of Your Digital SLR Camera Oct. 5 and Secrets of the NYC Economy: A Crash Course on City Economics, Business and Politics Oct. 7. “We’re also going to have a video workshop for print journalists that will teach participants how to shoot and edit video,” said Caplan. “After an intensive two-day workshop, you’ll be able to create a high-quality two-minute video.” Other courses will include photography and creating charts and graphs, he added.
J-Camp will include sessions on basic business concepts and entrepreneurship, said Caplan. “Some of these sessions will help address subjects like how do you start, maintain and grow a journalism business (like an independent blog or niche news site), while others will focus on the basics of business,” he explained. “To give you an example, one session I have taught in the past that we plan to include in the CUNY J-Camp program is called The 90-Minute MBA – it’s an introduction to business basics for journalists and others without a business background.”
“We’re still determining what the costs will be,” said Caplan. “We’re trying to find our niche where we’re more affordable than others out there.”