Newsroom by the Bay 2013 ends with multimedia showcase, awards, laughter … and a view from a drone

Newsroom by the Bay’s 2013 session ended Saturday, June 29 with songs, laughter, awards, tears and videos of a busy and exciting week, including bird’s eye footage of a drone flight over the Stanford campus.

A total of 78 students in the Year 1 and Year 2 programs showcased their websites, the product of an intensive week of reporting and writing stories, taking photos and videos, and designing infographics, headers and logos for their WordPress websites, sponsored by School Newspapers Online, a leading provider of scholastic journalism websites.SNO_Logo

The evening showcase kicked off at 7 p.m. with a slideshow of photos of students and team leaders at work at Stanford and on field trips to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, as well as having fun fountain-hopping, at Tresidder Student Union and on the basketball court (including dodging student Dwight Anderson, who became known as the “blockist” for his defensive moves.)

Eric Burse, NBTB’s iPad video teacher, announced awards for videos that students had shot and edited in his 45-minute class, the capstone of a week of video editing. Brian Smith, Nagyon Kim and Dwight Alexander won Most Creative Video for “Terror at the Basketball Court,” while Izzy Ullman, Oliver Groeneveld and Stephanie Chan won Best News Piece for “Food Sustainability.”

The class awards were preceded by footage of a drone flown by Palo Alto High School students over Lake Lagunitas and Newsroom by the Bay students earlier in the week, including a remarkable view of the Stanford campus.

An aerial view of the Stanford campus, as seen in a video taken by Palo Alto High School students who spoke at Newsroom by the Bay on Tuesday, June 25.

An aerial view of the Stanford campus, as seen in a video taken by Palo Alto High School students who spoke at Newsroom by the Bay on Tuesday, June 25.

The Year 1 groups then presented their websites, which they had worked on over the course of the week.

First up was Team Observer, guided by team leader Natalie Bush. Students went to the San Francisco Office of Sustainability and Environment, and AT&T Park, “which is considered the most environmentally correct ballpark on the planet,” student Quinn Kropschot observed. Student Samantha Galiciano talked about the graphic artistry of fellow student Triya Marco, who did the header for the website, and the social media feeds that captured news about environmental sustainability: “Right now Google and YouTube are our friends.”

Next came Team Outlook, guided by team leader Jordan Tichenor. “Our theme was people and culture. It’s kind of a broad topic, but we did many aspects of it,” said Elle Nava, introducing the package. Photos included hot spots — links to rollover text — with questions and answers that identified where people were from as well as their beliefs. A video about the movie “Star Trek” portrayed “the first multiracial crew on television,” said student Nebeyatt Betre. “It impacted us and made us the melting pot that we are today.”

Team Star was third, guided by team leader Adrienne von Schulthess. The website’s tagline was “a team of student journalists reporting on cultural evolutions” that looked at events from the past to present, said student Alexandra Hsieh.

Tami Sharma described a story on “cultural symbiosis” that traced how cultural changes such as immigration “can go for better or for worse.” Student Jane Vaughn talked about the 35 religions represented at Stanford, including interviewing the dean for religious life at Stanford, Scotty McClellan.

Team Watchdog, guided by team leader Angela Pearson, was fourth. Inspired by a blog called “Humans of New York,” student Jenn Teitell said that the team’s goal was to “get these quotes that when coupled with their pictures, really makes us understand them and feel like you know their stories.”

Next was Team Voice, guided by team leader Brendan O’Byrne. “Our theme was the arts, which is broad, but we had categories, including culture sports, environment visual arts, music and video,” said student Lindsey Waller. “We used our experiences and our trip to San Francisco and our trips around Stanford to shape what we wrote and to make videos about what we were interested in.”

Student Diana Lee said “video makes the viewer interested, and you feel like you’re there with the reporter.” Lee made a video about an experimental house across from Adelfa, NBTB’s program dorm, which included an interview with Rob Best, construction manager, who is heading a project to build an environmentally responsible house. Student Naomi Schanen described a video she made “about how (the Stanford Music Center) felt about the differences in today’s music compared to the music of the past.”

Next was Team Vanguard, guided by team leader Kelsey Reid. Student Autif Steele began by introducing his fellow team members, including Maddie Ottilie said that the Wednesday field trip was “an awesome opportunity” to report on political happenings, at City Hall and in the Castro District.

Student Arshell Dennis described a story he wrote on Chicago public school district, which recently closed 54 schools in Chicago, throwing communities into chaos. Elaine Xie wrote about “the culture of hate in America and how it’s really prevalent,” including a video.

Student Autif Steele talked about “violence that hit close to home” in his hometown of Chicago, including the murder of Hadiya Pendelton, a 15-year-old girl who was killed after attending President Barack Obama’s inaugural in January. Chicago’s homicide rate, which is among the highest in the nation, is “obviously a problem,” said Steele, who interviewed Pendelton’s mother for a story on “common-sense laws, so that people like Hadiya will not be hurt.”

Last — but definitely not least — was Team Journal, guided by team leader Maytal Mark. Student Izzy Ullman described the team’s website on food sustainability. The Journal created a Thinglink that described various booths at the Ferry Plaza farmer’s market in San Francisco, and a colorful infographic by April Martin-Hansen that showed the top five states for farmer’s markets (California is number one). A visit to the TCHO chocolate factory in San Francisco “was yummy” but also included a discussion of how the company produces locally sourced chocolate, Martin-Hansen said. Student Megan D’Souza showed a photo gallery about the Tenderloin People’s Garden and the Stanford Community Garden.

Year 2 students also showcased their work, a website called “One Day, One Story,” which was inspired by the Supreme Court’s rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Students also talked about what moved or changed them the most during their week at Newsroom by the Bay. “One Day, One Story” has to take the cake … doing something that none of us had never done before, and even if the body of work isn’t entirely perfect, it is all created in a single day with no outside help, so that was something really exciting for us,” said student Simon Greenhill, who served as managing editor for the project.

“The best thing I learned from NBTB this year … is taking those lessons that you learned from those impromptu moments — just going out there and covering the news,” said Y2 Eibhlin Lim.

“To try and make a website in one day and load it all with content in one fell swoop” was exciting, but even better was the response, said student Jacob Cader. As of Saturday evening, Cader said, the website had received “about 3,000 views just from the U.S.”

Earlier in the week, a post-mortem discussion among Year 2 students revealed the delicate nature of reporting on sexuality and issues that are close to the heart. “It was impressive to watch the maturity put forward by students as they discussed their work and disagreed — respectfully — with each others’ views,” said Hailey Waller, Year 2 co-team leader. “It’s not very often when you get students from across the country spending a week together and becoming close enough to talk about these incredibly sensitive issues.”

Finally, it wouldn’t have been a closing multimedia showcase without a contribution by NBTB’s much-beloved team leaders, who wrote and sang a song titled (with apologies to Taylor Swift), “We Are Never, Ever, Ever Gonna Stop Reporting”:
“You go talk to your source, talk to that guy, talk to her, but we are never ever ever gonna stop reporting … like ever.” 
Now ending its third year, Newsroom by the Bay co-directors Paul Kandell and Beatrice Motamedi are looking ahead to summer 2014. Applications will be out in November, and students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Summer 2014 dates will be released in early December.
To all, best wishes for a safe and happy summer.

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