UA School of Journalism |

Prep Students Learn Reporting Skills in Campus Workshop

Students learn not just how to write stories and shoot photographs and videos, but also about ethics and the value of diversity in newsrooms.

Fred Araiza, a photographer at the Arizona Daily Star, demonstrates for students the importance of getting close to a subject. High school students from across Arizona are attending a 10-day diversity workshop sponsored by the UA School of Journalism. (Photo credit: Iman Hamdan, UA School of Journalism)Fred Araiza shares his photo with Lexie Alvarez, a Tucson High School student and participant in the 10-day diversity workshop. (Photo credit: Iman Hamdan, UA School of Journalism)

With camera in hand, Fred Araiza, a photographer from the Arizona Daily Star, ventured across the University of Arizona campus on June 2 in triple-digit heat.

Trailing nearby were 15 high school students from across the state as Araiza gave them some real-world experience in photojournalism.

Ariaza's photography seminar was the start of the 10-day Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students. The workshop runs through June 10 and is sponsored by the UA School of Journalism.

Now in its 31st year, the workshop is funded by the Dow Jones News Fund. The goal is to teach journalism skills and ethics to students from diverse communities.

During their stay at the UA, students cover news, issues and trends throughout the Tucson community concerning teens and other individuals for a blog. They also are producing a 12-page newspaper, The Chronicle.

Each workshop participant is paired with a current UA journalism student who acts as a mentor. The students work closely with their mentors by pitching stories to simulate how a real newsroom functions.

In addition, students sharpen various skills learned in classes taught by UA professors, including reporting, interviewing, editing, blogging and video editing.

Students come to the workshops with different goals.

"I am really interested in print journalism," said Lexie Alvarez, a Tucson High School student. "I would like to mostly improve on my writing."

Fellow participant Kenzie Hawley, of Seligman, Ariz., agreed, but added that she is most interested in photography. "I want to capture that one shot that everyone is in love with," said Hawley, who attends Seligman High School.

Beyond the students' active participation, the other goal of the workshop is to help promote diversity in the nation's newsrooms. A series of guest lecturers, who will speak with participants in person and via Skype, will address the question, "What Does Diversity Mean to Me?"

The guest speakers include: Michele Salcedo, an editor with The Associated Press Washington, D.C., bureau and president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; Jimmy Boegle, editor of the Tucson Weekly and diversity chair for the Association of Alternative Newsmedia; Mari Herreras, a senior writer who covers the Hispanic community and news for the Tucson Weekly; Lupita Murillo, reporter from KVOA News 4; Teresa Jun, news anchor and reporter from KOLD 13 and Fox 11 and also co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association-Arizona chapter; and Sarah Garrecht Gassen, editorial writer with the Arizona Daily Star.

Abe Kwok, senior manager of The Arizona Republic's online platform and co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association-Arizona chapter, will be the program's closing speaker at the graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 10.

Other sponsors of the workshop include Concerned Media Professionals, a Tucson group promoting diversity in newsrooms; the UA's Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; and the Asian American Journalists Association, which is offering a cash prize at the graduation ceremony.

"At graduation, the two best stories that we print in The Chronicle will win cash prizes," said John de Dios, the workshop director. "First place will receive $200 and second place will receive $100, so it gives the students a little extra incentive to put their best work on the table."

Workshop participants also include Marissa Alejandre, Samantha Neville, Jose Rivera and Nicholas Trujillo, all from Tucson High Magnet School; Celene Arvizu, Yetzabell Rojas and Maria Urquidez from Douglas High School; Varun Bajaj from Gilbert High School; Kathryn Burney from Horizon High School, Phoenix; Carolyn Corcoran from Sunrise Mountain High School, Peoria; Hayleigh Daugherty from BASIS Scottsdale; Sierra Schulze from Youngker High School, Buckeye; and Rachel Worthington from Prescott High School.

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John de Dios

Journalism Diversity Workshop for Arizona High School Students