This is the first time that I have “graduated” a class of students and I feel like a proud mother 16 times over! It’s been a long, yet satisfying year. Long because our local investors haven’t been model business partners, and satisfying because my students didn’t give up during the challenges. They worked through no AC in exhausting heat, electricity cuts, internet disruptions, no water, an infestation of flies, live rats who liked to nibble on our food, and one dead rat who festered for days in the far recesses of our non-working AC ducts.
My students studied how to become good journalists and then put that learning to good practice. Some learned English along the way. They now know how to pitch stories and research them, conduct interviews, and write cleanly for print and broadcast. They learned to shoot HD video, edit on Final Cut Pro, and assemble post-production projects. They practiced anchoring, studied ethics and law, wrote headlines and teasers and learned the mechanics of multi-media storytelling.
Many of my students brought with them a passion for this work. The rest discovered the passion along the way.
And that’s what makes me feel so proud. It’s not fame or fortune that drives them. It’s a good story and the challenge of telling it.
We had the pleasure to work with 11 photojournalists from the University of Nebraska for the last two weeks of class. They traveled here with two instructors to cover stories that they had started researching in Lincoln. We paired the Nebraska team with our students and they worked together on the ground, interviewing, shooting, and translating.
I was impressed with the tenacity and professionalism of the US team. They profiled elephant drivers and drug addicts, abuse victims, and domestic workers, to name only a few of the many impressive and difficult-to-document projects. You should take a peak at some of their photographs: http://unlphotojournalismindia.wordpress.com/
Care for HOT anyone? It’s so hot that:
- Sweat runs down the back of my thighs.
- I change clothes twice a day.
- My eyeballs burn.
- It’s 99°F at midnight.
- The gardener hung tarp to protect the yard plants from the sun.
- The birds have disappeared.
- The “cold” water is too hot to shower under.
- Running outside at 6 a.m. is a bitch and I’m about to give up.
The forecast? 116°F on Wednesday and Thursday.
We are not returning to the States for our usual cross-country sprint this summer. I’ll share our plans in the next post, which will also have the annual Yardley slide show.
Our little reporter:
Celebrating the beginning of a well-earned summer break for me: