Summer 2020 will be different than usual with the cancellation of our on-campus program at Stanford University due to coronavirus concerns. Given the extent of this public health emergency around the world, our focus is on making sure our students and staff remain safe. Meanwhile, we want to recognize this tragic time as a teachable moment in the role that journalism can and must play during times of war, of tragedy, and of history in the making.

As a digital media program, we’ve always done most of our work online, from the curriculum we use to the publications we produce. Using Zoom, Skype, Google Tools, Slack, the entire Adobe suite and a dozen or so GroupMes is business as usual. Still, this summer will be a test of the qualities we like to think are core for NBTB students, including a sense of adventure, a desire to innovate, the ability to accept and even embrace failure if it means you’re pushing yourself, and a deep commitment to student journalism even when it’s not easy.

We’re still figuring out how to have pizza together across time zones and midnight production. That will come.

Meanwhile, here’s how a typical day at NBTB Online will look:

8 a.m. PT to noon PT:

  • Week 1: Four 45-minute classes in 1) news reporting and writing, 2) digital media stories, 3) broadcast and video, and 4) photojournalism. All sessions will be recorded and shared on the day they take place.
  • Week 2: Four 45-minute classes in 1) climate science journalism, 2) political reporting and media literacy, 3) guest speakers/working journalists for each news team (global website, magazine, broadcast) and 4) staff leadership training.

Lunch break

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT: Afternoon reporting time and drop-in story coaching for students with their team leaders, including intensive writing, editing and revision of stories and products for publication. Students overseas will be partnered with a team leader for remote one-on-one coaching. Students who have questions about a recorded class can get extra help.

4 p.m.-5 p.m.: Guest speaker presentations and press conference. Submit questions in advance; listen live or on demand.

5:30 p.m – 6 p.m.: Editorial meeting for news teams (global website, magazine or broadcast. Students in Asia will be able to participate in real time; other students will virtually update their team leaders and story partners.


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