2019 Blog (4)

Editor’s note: The orientation and multimedia training program for the Summer 2019 class of Chips Quinn Scholars was held at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn., May 13-19. As part of their training, students blogged about the conference and aspects of journalism.

Nashville resident and Freedom Rider Ernest “Rip” Patton Jr. with the 2019 scholars.

2019 Blog, Day 4

What person, presentation or session during orientation has had the greatest impact on you and why?


Siandhara Bonnet
Speaking with Freedom Rider Ernest “Rip” Patton Jr. after watching the movie “Freedom Riders” had the biggest impact on me. The movie reminded me how much hate is possible in the world, but also that if people come together and the media continues to cover the events – even when they’re being beaten and yelled at – then a mission can become much more powerful. Patton showed me what happens when you mix determination with courage.

Joseph Choi
The Power Shift presentation by Sonya Gavankar, the Newseum’s director of public relations, and Mizell Stewart III, a senior director for Gannett and the USA TODAY Network, offered great advice on how to navigate workplaces. It helped us to know how to interact with coworkers and what our options are when we’re confronted by an issue in the workplace. When you don’t know your options, you end up being incapable of taking action.

Alexis Clark
I appreciated speaking with CQS coach and Nashville Public Radio enterprise reporter Tony Gonzalez. During our sit-down discussion with our coaches, I felt more confident in myself as a journalist. We’re all lacking in some sort of aspect within our passion, and it’s OK. We live and learn, day by day.

Gabrielle Cooke
The #MeToo discussion addressed many questions interns have but might be too nervous to ask. It informed us about our rights as interns, which many of us don’t know as we start out in journalism. Being in a space where we could ask questions about inappropriate situations has put us a step ahead.

Irena Fischer-Hwang
I have been blown away by media strategist Val Hoeppner’s lessons. I have always thought that video was too intimidating for me to even think about learning, but she has managed to break it down into very digestible presentations and assignments that make it feel more intuitive. It’s actually possible for me to entertain the idea of becoming a multimedia journalist, and I now have the confidence to sign up for future multimedia classes and trainings.

Ava Garcia
The presentation that taught me the most was CQS coach Emma Carew Grovum’s presentation on social media use in journalism. Carew Grovum, a journalist and cofounder of Diversify Journalism, taught us how to use social media to scout out story ideas and verify user-generated content. The presentation stood out to me because social media is something I’m still getting used to using in journalism; I appreciated learning more about the topic.

Nugesse Ghebrendrias
CQS coach and digital journalist Emma Carew Grovum gave me some advice I’ll never forget. It came not during her talk or lesson but rather during an informal chat over lunch. She told me the ideal number of clips to include in a portfolio and how to demonstrate your versatility as a journalist. It’s important to make myself and my work noticed, especially since I come from a small town and school. Thanks to Emma’s key pieces of advice, I have a better understanding of how to stand out to a future employer.

Leslie Ignacio
All presentations were useful and informative, but my favorite was the presentation by journalist and CQS coach Emma Carew Grovum, who spoke to us about social media. As we know, social media is a growing aspect involving news, and it is interesting to see how different newspapers and stations are using it. I want to pursue a news job in which I can use social media, so the tips from Emma were helpful.

Zoe Jackson
What a difficult question! All of the sessions this week were wonderful and impactful, but I will have to go with digital journalist and CQS coach Emma Carew Grovum’s session on using social media as a reporting tool. I loved the suggestions on finding Twitter lists for your coverage area and on how to check our own privacy controls online.

Isabel Lohman
The career coaching session with Nashville Public Radio enterprise reporter and CQS coach Tony Gonzalez was helpful. I appreciated the frank conversation about money and how to advocate for oneself in a tough industry.

Dani Matias
The director of public relations for the Newseum and Freedom Forum Institute, Sonya Gavankar, discussed the importance of feeling comfortable and safe in a work environment. Her session regarding the #MeToo movement taught us how to normalize the conversation surrounding sexual harassment policies. In doing so, we begin to build a greater understanding of individual boundaries and differentiate between what’s acceptable and unacceptable.

CQS alums Tony Gonzalez (Summer 2007), left, Wasim Ahmad (Summer 2003) and Emma Carew Grovum (Summer 2009). Tony and Emma are coaches this summer; Wasim assisted at the multimedia training.

Edward Moreno
Talking to CQS coaches and journalists Emma Carew Grovum and Tony Gonzalez stuck with me the most. I’ve never been able to have such a candid conversation with someone about my career goals until our session with them.

Nirmal Mulaikal
The session “Social Media as a Reporting Tool,” led by digital journalist and CQS coach Emma Carew Grovum, had the most impact on me. The presentation was informative about platforms, protocols and professional etiquette. I can now use these tools and insights more confidently as a reporter this summer.

Clevis Murray
During our informal group session, journalist and CQS coach Tony Gonzalez was transparent as he talked about his salary and answered other questions I thought were a little too bold to be asking someone we had just met. He was nice.

Riane Roldan
The session with Tony Gonzalez, CQS coach and an enterprise reporter at Nashville Public Radio, had the most impact on me. Gonzalez was candid about what it’s like to work in journalism, from asking for raises to maintaining a work-life balance. He also asked everyone in the room to share a journalistic weakness or a skill we’d like to work on, which was helpful to reflect on right before I jump into my internship for the summer.

Olivia Sanchez
The most productive session for me throughout this week of training was Freedom Former Institute fellow Colleen Fitzpatrick’s session on writing. Specifically, her suggested methods of story organization felt like a great resource to have, as I can sometimes be so overwhelmed and excited about what I am writing about that I struggle at first with organization. I took thorough notes during this session and I will draw on them during my internship.

Barbara Smith
The Freedom Riders session featuring the film and appearance by Ernest “Rip” Patton Jr., a Freedom Rider from Nashville, Tenn., had the greatest impact on me. Watching the documentary, I realized how little I knew about the civil rights movement and the lasting impact of those young adults and their actions. I didn’t understand why we were watching the documentary. But now I get that it has something to do with us being so young but having the ability, the tools and, most important, the will to change the world we live in as young journalists.

Margo Snipe
I got a lot out of the session on social media as a reporting tool, led by CQS coach and digital journalist Emma Carew Grovum. I learned how frequently I need to be posting, what I should be posting, and how to present myself well as a reporter online. I will be more active with my Twitter account, especially.

Tsanavi Spoonhunter
The people who had the greatest impact were multimedia instructors Val Hoeppner and Anne Bailey. Hoeppner has an engaging lecture style: She’s funny during presentations and honest during critiques. Bailey is well-versed in Adobe Premier and is patient. These qualities are important to me because Premier seems difficult to teach.

Kalaisha Totty
A piece of advice I took away from the training came from digital journalist and CQS coach Emma Carew Grovum, and it was that everyone lives their life at their own pace. You prioritize things in your life, and your priorities may differ from those of others, and that’s OK.

Rebekah Tuchscherer
A session on mobile reporting had a great impact on my view of journalism and its overall production. Before coming to Chips Quinn, I’d always been a writer with camera in hand. Now, I have a greater confidence that I can take photos, edit video and even publish stories from my phone, whether that’s in the newsroom or on the scene.

Jared Weber
The session that had the biggest impact on me was the closing session, when we all had the opportunity to make remarks, just before we left the John Seigenthaler Center for the last time. Public speaking can be hard, and even though there was no obligation to go to the lectern, most of us went up there and had some poignant things to say. It made me realize how special the past week had been.

Laura Zornosa
Digital journalist, teacher and media strategist Val Hoeppner had the greatest impact on me because she taught me the building blocks of video storytelling. From her, I learned what an ideal storyboard should look like, and she trained my video “eye” to find exactly what I needed at the scene – and get out quickly. She streamlined my process, so in the future I will spend less time filming unnecessary footage.

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