By Georgia Dawkins, Producer, Waterman Broadcasting
There’s only one word to describe the 20th Annual NABJ Short Course, EPIC! Forty-two students traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina to step their careers up a notch. Nearly half a dozen veteran short course mentors met them at North Carolina A&T State University to help them on their journey.
“They come with a greater sense of what they want to do,” said program coordinator, Gail Wiggins.
These students are no doubt the crème de la crème, but the short course serves as a reality check for some. The short course day begins with breakfast, newspapers, tweets and morning newscast. Students can be found next to their orange juice, buried in a newspaper preparing for the current event quiz that’s waiting for them in the newsroom.
“The multimedia short course an exceptional experience for me because I was able to experience and thoroughly understand every facet of the television industry,” said Ameena Rasheed, who awarded top honors during the workshop. The 22-year-old Texas Southern University student said her hard work paid off when she received the award for Outstanding Reporting and Outstanding Stand Up.
Veteran Instructor Damany Lewis of KCRA said, “I think the future is bright for young journalists!” Lewis not only journeys to NC A&T every year, he also gets over to his alma mater, Florida A&M University for their multimedia short course.
These NABJ babies are working with seasoned journalists who show up to give them some tough love. Even keynote speaker, Paula Madison sat down to offer a few one-on-one critiques. Madison was the 2011 NABJ Legacy Award recipient. The CEO of Madison Media Management and former NBCUniversal Chief Diversity Officer joined the crew on Saturday for the award reception and poured on the wisdom.
“They too can get to where [Madison] is from where they are now,” Wiggins told NABJ Digital. “but don’t forget the hard work and dedication.”
Reflecting on the last two decades, Wiggins realized that time has flown by. “We do it every year. We don’t think any differently.” But the program has grown, whipping hundreds of aspiring journalists into shape over the years. Over the time the focus has expanded from just cracking the diversity ceiling to teaching how to be multimedia and multiplatform journalists. “They come with the essential skills,” said Wiggins. “We have to make sure the students are able to produce for these different platforms.”
If you missed out on this epic celebration, check out the links below for a quick recap.