It’s been a fairly big week for my journalistic endeavors.
That goes beyond just reporting for the Titan, even if I spent a good amount of time taking pictures and getting content at the College Republicans club watch party for the president’s State of the Union address and later impressed myself by doing three successive interviews in a row on Thursday.
Probably the biggest thing that happened this week was the arrival of my Society of Professional Journalists card.
Joining SPJ has been a long time coming. I meant to earlier, but I’ve always put it off from some combination of being too busy or not wanting to spent the money on membership.
Both admittedly lame excuses in retrospect, but what can I say.
I joined primarily to get in on the SPJ awards not too long ago, but I’ve also had the opportunity to help out with the local CSUF chapter SPJ club by tabling at DiscoverFest throughout the week.
Even if I probably burned myself out in the sun and ate one too many Starbursts for my own good, it was a pretty good time. Not only was it a nice opportunity to chat with some of my friends, it was also cool to talk with a couple of people interested in journalism – both print and broadcast.
But I will say it was lame that we were stuck off in a corner, so there weren’t quite as many people to talk with as we expected. Oh well.
While all of that is cool, obviously I’m doing this post for a slightly different reason if the title can be believed.
Which it can, coming from the one who wrote it.
One of the more interesting classes I’m taking this semester is Communications 436: Reporting on the Entertainment Industry. Admittedly a carryover from when I was shooting to be a Lifestyle desk assistant, this class was my main attempt to try covering new things in a field I’m interested in. Video games, movies… All that good stuff.
So far, it has also turned out to be one of the most interesting classes I’ve ever taken. It’s a three-hour class every Thursday night, where the first half of the class is a lecture into some aspect of the industry and the second half consists of a mock newsroom.
That mock newsroom, though we’ve only done one so far, lives up to the expectations the professor built as helping everything feel like the fastest three-hour class on campus. In essence, he splits the room into two teams and each team has to come up with a number of quick stories and a design for a specific news receptacle to create a finished idealized product in about an hour and a half.
Our first assignment was a newspaper’s Friday entertainment section, for example. He has also suggested there’s going to potentially be magazines, websites, blogs… So on and so forth.
The two teams pick out one editor and one designer, with everyone else serving as staff writers.
For the first mock newsroom, I was the editor, and it was really interesting to take my experience on the Daily Titan and sort of expand that into a taste of complete power over story choice and design, even if it just pertained to a small lab environment.
We put together a pretty sweet little paper too, I might add:
It wasn’t perfect, and we got some nice critiques, but it was definitely a fun hands-on experience I haven’t seen in any other course.
I didn’t bring up this class just to brag about how fun it is, however. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a new posting category at the side of my blog for this class. That’s because one of our assignments throughout the semester is to keep something of a blog that compiles entertainment news related to beats we’ve been assigned.
So, over the next few months, I’m going to be putting out a couple of posts specifically related to this class. What the posts are going to be isn’t exactly concrete in my head yet, though I’m imagining some sort of listicle just pointing out a number of stories from the previous week.
The only one that is planned out is the first post, which I’m going to put out toward the end of next week as a means of gathering background knowledge on my beat (luckily enough, video games).
I just wanted to make this post to let you all know what will be coming. Who knows, maybe if I enjoy the practice enough, it’ll be something I continue on with. Only time will tell.