NABJ Short Course at 25

NABL 25th Logo - Final 2 - Univ Colors (1)

Short Course offers journalism students once in a lifetime experience

By April Salvador, NABJ 2017 Member from N.C. A&T

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is hosting its annual NABJ Multimedia Short Course at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C. The 4-day student journalism boot camp began in 1992 and is the longest running workshop of its kind in association with NABJ, according to university officials. This year it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The NABJ Multimedia Short Course has served more than 800 journalism and mass communication students from 70 colleges across the U.S. and Canada. This year’s short course is set to run through March 18.

See Short Course Facts

How did it begin?

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Nagatha Tonkins, left, founded the short course i 1992, Gail Wiggins is its current coordinator.

Nagatha Tonkins, a former journalism professor at A&T, was the mastermind behind the creation of the NABJ Multimedia Short Course back in 1992. She has served as the project director and organized the course for the first 16 years of the short course’s existence. Tonkins is currently the internship director for Elon University’s School of Communications in Burlington, N.C.

Gail Wiggins, the interim chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at A&T, is now coordinating the short course. “Many of our short course graduates are working in the industry today, which is a testament to the value and significance of this program designed to prepare and develop the next generation of journalists.”

See Short Course from a student perspective. Video produced by Kenneth Campbell, NABJ Short Course member 2017, North Carolina Central University .

One of the best parts about the short course is that journalism and mass communication students get to be surrounded by 25 industry professionals. Students get a chance to talk with these professionals and network with them as they produce TV and multimedia content. Professionals critique their work to prepare them for the real world.

See map of where the professionals and students came from this year. It was produced by students in a multimedia class at A&T

Maximillian Boudreaux, a 2017 NABJ Multimedia Short Course participant, says, “It’s been a great learning experience by just listening to the mentors. We get their take on what they experience out in the newsroom and the industry that I hope to get into one day.” Boudreaux is a student from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Shakira Warren is another participant in this year’s short course from North Carolina Central University in Durham. She currently works at WRAL-TV in Raleigh as a news production assistant. Her experience so far has been great. Warren has even had a chance to practice reporting live. She says, “It was a little nerve wracking because you have other young professionals who want to do the same thing that you want to do. You want to make sure you’re doing it right and setting a good example.”

Professionals offer sound advice

All industry professionals served as mentors and instructors. They were all more than willing to offer up their knowledge of the ever evolving world of journalism.

Carl McLean is a television news photographer at WSOC-TV based out of Charlotte, N.C. McLean says the future of journalism is steering in the direction of multimedia journalists and journalists nowadays need to know how to do everything. Aspiring anchors cannot step foot into a newsroom and immediately expect to become an anchor without first showcasing their video skills.

Anzio Williams is the vice president of news for NBC 10-WCAU based out of Philadelphia, P.A. Williams stressed not waiting until you have a job or internship to start gaining experience. He suggests to start shooting right now on your own time if you want to be a videographer. Learning on your own has never been a bad idea.

See more advice from professional journalists.

Students agreed that the 25th NABJ Multimedia Short Course has been nothing short of exciting, engaging, and a wonderful experience.

In honor of the 25th anniversary, April Ryan, White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network will be the keynote speaker for a gala on Saturday, March 18.

 See Salute to NABJ/JOMC partnership

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