As campers at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s (MIPA) 2012 workshop, journalism students get to have experiences that allow them to get a closer look at their field of interest. Students in the “Smile, You’re on Camera” class had the opportunity to do this at a local news station, WILX. Here, the students learned more about broadcast journalism, specifically reporting and anchoring.
Anchor Jason Colthorp gave a tour of the station which included the newsroom, control room, and the studio. Students were introduced to the staff, which was in the process of getting ready for the 5:00 P.M. broadcast at the time.
In the studio, the students waited for the broadcast to begin. They got a first look at the fast-changing environment of journalism when the show was cancelled due to the Olympic beach volleyball game.
Though they couldn’t watch that broadcast, the students were not disappointed. FOX 47 News, which is produced in the same studio, went on air at 5:30 P.M. and they were there to watch AJ Hilton anchor the show.
In between news segments, Hilton would chat casually to the students until he read his next story, composure intact.
Students asked the WILX staff anything from what their most embarrassing moment on camera was, to how they became a journalist. Colthorp also gave the students advice about starting their careers.
“It’s like jumping out of an airplane, you have to just take the leap,” Colthorp said. “Sometimes you’re kind of reading something and you’re not feeling it. You have to wrap your head around it, you have to explain it to people and they have to hear it like you’re not reading it.”
For students with a passion for this type of journalism, the tour was inspiring.
“It’s an experience of a lifetime that gives you a real world look into broadcasting,” Lapeer High School student Robin Kish said.
The “Smile, You’re on Camera” students will add this important learning experience to their time at the 2012 MIPA workshop.