By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
Thanks to a scholarship from the National Association of Black Journalists and the generosity of my employers, I recently had the chance to take a course at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. My class was Storytelling With Multimedia Video. I have embraced technology and tools enthusiastically, but video was the last missing piece.
So the week of Sept. 20, I joined a group of 15 journalists from around the world, along with our teachers — Al Tompkins, Regina McCombs and Alexandra Garcia, a multimedia journalists with the Washington Post — to learn how to shoot and edit video for news stories. We had a nice mix of young and older, along with print and broadcast, and even a PR professional. We were all there for the same reason — to learn a skill that would enhance our storytelling and keep us relevant in a rapidly changing newsroom.
By the end of the week, I had shot and edited a video to be proud of. And the bonus? I was able to do my story about the St. Pete’s Flying Service, a flight school and fixed-base operator at the historic Albert Whitted Airport. We were all blessed to have Al, Regina and Alex as instructors. It was especially great to see Alex Garcia’s work in the Post for inspiration, ranging from The Healing Fields to Joining The Dance.
I was pleased with the diversity of our group, and more importantly, that most of them had traveled from as far as Iceland — on their own dime — to make this investment in their career. My grandmother Claressa always loved to say “you get what you pay for.” She was a master bargain hunter, but she also realized that you have to pay for value.
The training offered at Poynter is value. It’s training that could be the difference between you keeping your job or being laid off. I am already saving my pennies for my next training — Essential Skills for the Digital Journalist, May 2-6. I encourage you to take a look at the current course offerings and see what might be of interest. And check with NABJ or other minority journalist associations for scholarships.