Students at Newsroom by the Bay are taught by some of the nation’s top journalism educators. They have the opportunity to meet and learn from professional and college media guest speakers. And they practice what they learn using the latest digital tools. Our program blends tried-and-true journalism curricula with 21st century digital literacy and multimedia training.
Our goals are to:
- improve students’ writing and critical thinking skills;
- support students who want to jumpstart or improve journalism programs at their high schools;
- introduce students to the practice of journalism in college and as a career;
- inspire students to become better consumers as well as better makers of media; help students to understand the critical role that journalism plays in civil society and democracy in the U.S. and around the world;
- nurture leadership, empathy and ethical decision-making among students, no matter what their ultimate level of interest may be in journalism as a class or career.
Students in both Year 1 and 2 programs attend morning classes, work on stories during afternoon lab time, and attend guest speaker presentations or special events each evening. All students plan and go on a daylong reporting trip to San Francisco.
Year 1 program
The goal of our Year 1 program is to teach students the journalism basics that will help them to begin or improve their practice of journalism. Students in our Year 1 strands typically have one-two years of journalism experience in school programs; some are incoming editors-in-chief; some come to us to practice journalism for the first time. International students in countries such as China where journalism is not part of the school day are typically Year 1 students, who offer remarkable insights about the role of the media in their countries. We group Year 1 students according to experience, journalism skill level and age, so that classes challenge students where they are.
Morning class topics include news reporting and writing, including features, reviews and op-ed articles; photojournalism, including caption writing and permissions; mobile video, including shooting and editing using iPads; and digital publishing, including storytelling tools, embeddables and social media. Students create and publish their work during our camp session using WordPress and websites provided by School Newspapers Online.
Year 2 program
Many students return to Newsroom by the Bay for a second year (sometimes even for a third or fourth). We also recruit students with superior skills in specific areas, such as photography or website design, to return as counselors-in-training and teaching assistants. The focus of our Year 2 program is to advance these students given the skills we know they have developed. At our discretion, Year 2 students may also include applicants with two years or more of journalism experience at their schools and demonstrated mastery of our Year 1 skills, for example, as webmasters or editors-in-chief of school publications.
Morning class topics include design thinking, multimedia story packaging, digital platforms, student press rights and specialized seminars in areas such as data journalism, the art of the interview and solutions journalism. Depending on the skills they bring to bear, students create and publish their work in a variety of formats including WordPress websites and Adobe publishing tools. Year 2 students typically lead pop-up projects, though Year 1 students often join depending on their interests.