The past four days at the American Society of News Editors Reynolds Institute, which I’m lucky enough to be attending, have been a whirlwind of activity and excitement, which is why I have not posted since Friday, and that post didn’t really delve into what truly transpired that day.
This post is going to fix these problems. I’m going to discuss each day I have missed separately, so this post will probably be kind of long.
So here it goes:
Friday afternoon was the most interesting day we had to date.
First, Todd Felts, University of Nevada, Reno, Reynolds School of Journalism assistant professor spoke to us about social media. He was a great presenter who shared a lot and made me rethink how I planned to deliver the student journalists’ work.
He told us to consider where they got their information and where they “lived” online, which is generally Facebook.
Felts also showed us how to most-effectively link all our media outlets together by looking at how the professionals do it. This wasn’t something entirely new to me, but it was something I was neglecting to consider for my students.
After Felts spoke, Deidre Pike, Ph.D., UNR RSJ writing lecturer and website content generator, discussed media literacy, which is, according to Wikipedia.org:
“a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyse, evaluate and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres and forms. Education for media literacy often uses an inquiry-based pedagogic model that encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, hear, and read. Media literacy education provides tools to help people critically analyze messages, offers opportunities for learners to broaden their experience of media, and helps them develop creative skills in making their own media messages.  Critical analysis can include identifying author, purpose and point of view, examining construction techniques and genres, examining patterns of media representation, and detecting propaganda, censorship, and bias in news and public affairs programming (and the reasons for these). Media literacy education may explore how structural features—such as media ownership, or its funding model — affect the information presented. Media literate people should be skillful creators and producers of media messages, both to facilitate understanding of the specific qualities of each medium, as well as to create independent media and participate as active citizens.”
She explained how this is important to teach our students, and I totally agreed. Students need to be able to understand the various messages they encounter on any given day. They need to learn to think critically and determine the source and what the goal of the message is in concerns to the source.
This is something I’m definitely going to do in my class, even if it is looking at journalism and advertising briefly at the beginning of each class.
It was particularly cool to hear Pike speak to us in this educational format because she is the person in charge of the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. She’s a great person and a wealth of knowledge. She has ensured the program ran on schedule and without a hitch from day one.
After our day in the classroom was complete, we got to go to a Reno Aces baseball game. The Aces are the Triple-A team for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Aces defeated the Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple-A team for the Seattle Mariners.
It was a good game, and one cool thing was one of the other teachers attending the institute is from the Seattle area. His name is Michael Ko, and the Seattle Times had him cover the game for them. Here is his story: Dustin Ackley says he is still developing
Here are some photos from the game:
After that, a few of us went to the Freight House District, which is a 365-day-a-year entertainment complex connected to the ballpark. There we saw Igor and the Red Elvises, a fun band that was performing.
Saturday was the quietest of the last four days. I woke up early, which wasn’t necessarily easy considering Friday’s late night. I got in the car with John Hull, of Elk Grove, Calif., and we went and watched the Reno-Tahoe Open, a PGA golf tournament.
It was fun. I got the autograph of Woody Austin, from Derby, Kan., which I thought was crazy. I was all the way in Nevada and ran into a fellow Kansan.
After the tournament, I went and watched the Reno Aces again before going to bed. It was an earlier night for me because I was exhausted.
Sunday was the most awesome day I have ever had!
First, I did laundry, which really contributed none to the awesomeness except it gave me clean clothes. Then I loaded into a van with a few other teachers and Diedre Pike to go to Emerald Bay in California. It was gorgeous, even though we had to hike like a mile up and down the mountain to get to the beach.
While we were there, we got to tour Vikingsholm, which is “castle” with amazing history. Click here to read all about it.
After our time there, we got back on the road and headed toward Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
While there we got to see a performance of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” It was hilarious, and Sand Harbor was beautiful. I’m not even going to try to explain it. Just look at the pictures (remember, these are all from Sunday and they are in reverse order from Shakespeare to Emerald Bay):
The ride home was a blast as we listened to music and had a great time.
Today was good as well. I was particularly interested in today’s speaker, Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center.
LoMonte taught us about everything having to do with student press law, which is a subject I greatly enjoy.
He focused on First Amendment and copyright law. It was very enlightening, and the cool part was he remembered me from my experience at Wichita State University when the student newspaper I was the editor-in-chief of encountered a legal issue when WSU threatened to censor myself and my staff and violate our First Amendment rights.
Then this afternoon we heard from Paul Mitchell, RSJ recruitment director, about sports coverage, and then Karl Grubaugh talked to us again, this time about newspaper production.
Overall, it was a good day, but it has been an amazing past few days. By this time Friday, I will almost be home in Kansas.
I like it here, but it will be good to get home too.
Virginia City (photos)
So on Wednesday I said I got to go to Virginia City, Nevada, which is an old mining town. Rather than write about all the cool stuff we got to see, I’m just going to show you in this photo essay.