NPC’s Outstanding Scholarship Student award winner, Melissa Gomez, talks about her early summer activities
This summer, I completed two intensive journalism workshops while taking a few weeks off from interning at the Tampa Bay Times. While it would be nearly impossible to condense how much I learned into a couple of paragraphs, I did my best.
The first one, the Chips Quinn Scholarship Program, took place in Nashville, Tennessee. This weeklong training session brought together young journalists from around the country to learn how to shoot and edit video on our phones, among other skills. Training started early in the day and ran into the evening, but it was a great opportunity for me to learn how to enhance storytelling on the digital media platforms.
The second one was The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, a two-week intensive bootcamp in The Big Apple. The end result was a print product that mimicked a version of the Times, but with our student bylines. I worked with a different set of young reporters, but it was clear to me that we all had similar passion and goals. It was inspiring to meet and work with editors, reporters and alumni of The New York Times. The mantra of our class became my own quote: “Journalism ain’t dead. Chill.” It was even put on SHIRT.
Both opportunities offered “all expenses paid,” so I didn’t even mind living out of a suitcase in unfamiliar hotels for three weeks.
It is not lost on me how much these programs and those involved invested in us. I was conscious of how much time, money and countless other resources were given to us, and I put forth my best effort. Further, the programs are meant to foster diversity in newsrooms, a growing need across the country. As a young reporter who is told nearly daily that this is a dying field, this summer showed me that it is not. We’re just working to find new ways to tell stories and keep journalism alive.