Cronkite summer camps make the virtual comeback

By Nicholas Hodell

Summer camps for high school students organized by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University have returned to action this year after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all three programs. last year.

The camps are taking place virtually through Zoom, an outing of the typical in-person experience that accompanied the pre-pandemic of the camps.

The Institute Journalism Institute is a selective program that offers students hands-on experience in broadcast and digital journalism. Participants produced news and various multimedia content during the camp, which took place June 6-18.

The High School Media Innovation Camp, which runs through July 2, is focused on using new technologies in journalism. Students experiment with various forms of technology, including augmented and virtual reality, as well as the Unity game engine.

The Sports Broadcast Boot Camp, which runs July 5-16, is an exclusive camp for sports journalism students. Students gain experience in producing sports broadcast packages, as well as learn tips on writing and transmitting game by game.

Paola Boivin, director of the Sports Broadcast Boot Camp, said she is very excited for the camp to return after last year’s absence.

“It was very difficult not to have that interaction with students last year during the summer,” Boivin said. “It really left a void over the summer.”

Retha Hill, director of the High School Media Innovation Camp, said this year’s camp being done practically means she can do things that hadn’t been done in the camp’s previous three years.

“Being able to attract speakers from other cities is one of the good things about being virtual,” Hill said. “We have Ray Soto, who is Director of Emerging Technology at the USA Today Network; student Jayson Chesler, who currently works in Los Angeles, but who wrote a guide to ethics and immersive media; and Juli James, who runs a news gaming company in the series and will zoom in from the Dallas area.

Two of Cronkite’s summer programs are fully funded for participants thanks to generous donations. The Summer Journalism Institute is paid for by the Arizona Transmitters Association, Tom Chauncey and RIESTER. The field of innovation in high school media is paid for by the Media in Education program of the Republic of Arizona.

Brett Kurland, director of strategic initiatives and sports programs at Cronkite School, oversees the three camps this summer. Kurland said he himself participated in similar programs as a high school student and knows first-hand the value of those experiences.

Kurland said the two programs, which are funded entirely through donations, allow Cronkite School to include students who may not have the opportunity to attend these camps.

“It’s opening doors,” Kurland said. “We are fortunate to have these amazing donors supporting our camps, which will allow us to bring students into these programs, introduce them to journalism, Cronkite, ASU and help them find a way.”

He said this year’s campers can expect excellent content with experienced professional teachers and journalists.

“The camps offer a wonderful education on the basics of journalism, media and technology, and sports journalism,” Kurland said. “Incredible training from all of our journalism faculty at Cronkite, industry experts and visits to newsrooms and editors. General image, it is about igniting and cultivating the passion for journalism in all its forms ”.

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