Simpson, assistant journalism professor, praised the 18 high school journalists
who attended the Department of Journalism’s first Digital Discovery Workshop
held on campus from June 28-30.
thoroughly enjoyed meeting the high school journalists and hearing about their
future plans and aspirations,” Simpson said. “They are, or should be, an
inspiration to all of us. Their passion and energy is contagious.”
He said students attended seven sessions, produced a video story on
each other, blogged about a CMU theatrical production, and reported and
produced news/feature stories as part of a team during the workshop. Most of
the attendees came from the Detroit area.
received mainly positive feedback from the students, although they thought the workshop
should be longer.
main lesson I learned from the feedback is that we need to ramp up our
curriculum and challenge them more, especially on the technology side,” he
for next year is already under way, and Simpson said he is exploring the idea
of adding some mobile apps and tablet production to the curriculum.
students will rise to our expectations,” he said. “We should always expect
more. In the case of the workshop, I think I underestimated what they wanted to
for the workshop began in November 2012, and was conceived as a way to introduce key skills and concepts to
top scholastic journalists in the region.
Simpson said two primary goals were set for the workshop.
“First, we sought to foster a deeper sense of the
importance of journalism in an increasingly unmediated news environment,” he
said. “Second, we wanted to introduce Central Michigan University’s accredited
journalism program to prospective students. On both counts, I believe we were
Simpson said the workshop would not have happened without
the help of PR Central, CMU’s student-run public relations agency, especially Integrative
Public Relations major Gabriella Hoffman, a Saginaw junior who led the team instrumental
in planning and marketing the event.
“I hope the students were inspired to continue into
journalism,” Simpson said. “The next generation of journalists must learn from
our mistakes and do it better.”
Two recent journalism graduates, along with several
current students, served as mentors to the workshop attendees. Photojournalism
major Katy Kildee, a junior from Flint, was excited to share her experiences at
CMU with the high school journalists.
inspired and creative, but also open to honing their skills and expanding their
knowledge,” Kildee said. “They also have a lot of enthusiasm. Meeting those
kids made it difficult to be pessimistic about the future of journalism.”