GEAR UP Alabama was so excited to be a part of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s (ASPA) Fall Regional Workshop on Tuesday, November 27th in Montgomery. The workshop was put on by ASPA, but it was graciously hosted by Bro Krift at the Montgomery Advertiser. The workshop featured a number of sessions by ASPA guests, all focused on different aspects of the journalism industry.

GUA sent students from three different schools to participate in the workshop.These students were all either involved in their school paper or, if their school doesn’t have a paper, they had expressed interest in the field of journalism. The students enjoyed hearing from the speakers, who all spoke from their personal and professional experience, which prompted the students to ask a number of questions throughout the sessions.

The speakers included Savannah Bullard, a junior at the University of Alabama, who is a scholastic journalism veteran herself. Savannah led a session on design, showing a variety of her own work and offering the students tips and tricks for their own design strategy. Meredith Cummings, the Alabama Scholastic Press Association director, used her twenty-five years of journalistic experience to teach the students about photography. Ms. Cummings’s session was an informative and comedic experience as she displayed examples of easy mistakes we can make while taking photos. The students also heard from Angela Flowers, a senior at Alabama State University. Angela is studying communications with a concentration in TV/Film and the lead anchor for the ASU Hornet News, making her well qualified to lead the session on broadcasting. She taught the students about how to hold a successful interview and common mistakes often made in broadcasting. Bobby Matthews also led a session, using his experience as a successful journalist to lead the session on writing. Bobby encouraged the students in the importance of telling their story, because no one else can offer their perspective. He offer practical writing tips and left everyone in the room wanting to live, and tell, better stories.

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This ASPA workshop was a great experience for everyone in attendance. The students enjoyed hearing from professionals, and the adults loved seeing how engaged and interested the student were. We even had some GUA students walking around to capture the event for their own school papers, and I think that’s the perfect reflection for how successful the event was!

Thank you to Meredith Cummings and ASPA for coordinating the workshop, and to Bro Krift for welcoming us to the Montgomery Advertiser.

 


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