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October 30, 2019

News Skills, “Write” People

Photos and Text by Ramya Mulugu '20
During the newly implemented three-week session at Guilford, students in the Journalism Bootcamp class had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the changing industry of journalism, directly from a former journalist.

“The skills learned through the course apply to any career because having the ability to effectively communicate your ideas to any audience is of essence for generating understanding and being aware of your environs.”

Alesha Garcia ’22
Double major in English and Media Studies and Education Studies

Students in Visiting Assistant Professor of English Tracie Feller’s ENG 250: Journalism Bootcamp course recently had the opportunity to engage in the intensive study and practice of journalism, culminating in a special online-only edition of the Guilfordian featuring their work.

In this seminar, offered during the three-week session — an integral part of the new Guilford Edge curriculum — students learned multiple techniques used in the field, from how to analyze media sources and portray powerful and factual stories through multiple mediums, to how to conduct interviews and take the perfect photo. 

Tracie Fellers, the instructor for the course and a former journalist, wanted to give students a firm grasp on journalistic writing. “I wanted the students to come away from it with knowing some fundamentals — how to report, structure, and write a story, and to get a sense of how much the field has changed in the last 20 to 30 years. I also wanted them to have some exposure to local media outlets like the (Greensboro) News and Record and WFDD, and professional journalists.”

‘From Pitch to Publish’

Having the opportunity to learn about how a newspaper is constructed, edited, and published was an enlightening experience for Ben Clark ’20, a Creative Writing major. “It assisted me in how to differentiate between reliable and unreliable news sources, as well as how the actual journalism process works, from pitch to publish,” he explains. 

Ben also praised the course’s emphasis on experiential learning. “I enjoyed how we got to actually go into the field (such as touring the Greensboro News & Record and a local NPR affiliate) and experience journalism in a very personal, constructive, and intimate way. That’s the kind of learning that sticks with students.”

Students also learned how to create compelling headlines and craft stories that covered a wide range of events. These stories centered on the renovations that are part of the Guilford Edge, the Being and Becoming exhibit in Founders Hall, and even California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ visit to Greensboro. 

After a photography lesson with Walt Unks, the photo editor at the Winston-Salem Journal, the class took photos around campus and created a gallery, artfully named, “Falling into Guilford’s Three-week Term.”

“Now the photo editor at the Winston-Salem Journal, Walt is a former colleague of mine from our days at the Herald-Sun in Durham,” Tracie says. “It was great  to see the class put his tips and advice into action when they took photos on campus after his visit!” 

[Pictured at right, from left: Caroline Clark, Ben Clark, Ramya Mulugu, Kristin Smith, Alesha Garcia, LeSeria Neven, Tracie Fellers, instructor; back row, from left: Nolan Ross, Jay Montague, Elijah Aekins, Sarah Ali, Ellen Han]

‘Apply to Any Career’

Alesha Garcia ’22, a double major in English and Media Studies and Education Studies, says she believes the lessons she learned allowed her to expand her repertoire. “It taught me a style of writing of which I had never learned before,” she says. “The skills learned through the course apply to any career because having the ability to effectively communicate your ideas to any audience is of essence for generating understanding and being aware of your environs.”

Tracie notes that the course is open to all students regardless of experience level and that they can work on stories pertaining to their interests. 

“They don’t need previous experience in journalism to take the class,” she says, “and they are welcome to bring their ideas for stories to the table, whether the stories are Guilford-focused or about issues or events in the larger local community beyond campus.”

Are you interested in discovering your unique voice, creating multimedia projects, and engaging in practical experiences? Schedule your personalized visit to Guilford to meet faculty, students, and staff who are eager to help you reach your goals.