Category Archives: Press Pass 2016

This multimedia journalism camp for students teaches storytelling skills and how to prepare video news breaks for the 21st Century. Journalism teachers are welcome, too!

Graduation Day

Press_Pass_PicWell on the first day of this camp if u didn’t already  read I didn’t know what to expect. I was overwhelmed and completely confused, but I have to say now that it’s over I’m really sad. I learned so much from Professor Collins that’s I can’t even say all that I learned. In 7 days I learned what she teaches in a full semester. I may not have these skills mastered but that will come in the future. I’m  confident in my capabilities to produce a successful news break. The skills I learned at camp will not only help me in the field but these are skills I can take with me everyday. I want to thank everyone at the camp and everyone that made this camp possible! Thankyou so much Professor Collins for believing in me and not settling for anything less than my best I hope I’ll get to see you again! Once again Thankyou this experience and for everyone I have met truly and unforgettable experience. #standby 🙂

Press Pass Journalism Summer Camp at the U of I !

It is with great Joy and Pride that I announce that I have led and completed my Press_Pass_Picfirst journalism summer camp at the U of I!. Great students from 13 years of age to 17! High school students who have never put a newscast together. Six days later, they shot, wrote, produced, reported, edited, and anchored their own 5 minute newsbreak!….using equipment for the first time! They even did the studio work, technical director, teleprompter, studio camera, playback…and on and on. I couldn’t have had a better group of students. They were truly awesome! They are my Magnificent Seven! Hugs….

Thank you to Dr. Jan Slater who put the idea of a camp into my vision, Rhiannon Clifton for your Directorship, Thomas Warren for assisting with the organization, and Ken Erdey for setup. I’d like to also send a special thank you to Casey Ludwig and Kyle Potthast who kept us going each and every day, John Paul for the impromptu text messages and visits to the Richmond Studios to help me put out fires, Rich Martin for your continued support of my projects-assisting with their success, Susan Conrad for helping me stay organized and ready, Jane Dowler for making sure all of the important behind-the-scenes bolts and screws were tightened and ready just in time for camp, Walter Stroganoff who brought your engineering magic, Taylor Judd and Meghan Smith for getting us set up online and with equipment, Dexter Smith who helped make sure we had the kits to get the job done, Anisa McClinton, Jessica Corso and Elizabeth Jassin for your mentoring and guidance for the students as Interns, Steve Bardwell for the impromptu phone call assistance, and to the parents-who trusted us to give their loved ones an experience of a lifetime. It was a wonderful, intense, 7 days! Best to Everyone! I’m so proud of my students and I look forward to seeing you all go on to do great things!


Dr. Collins

Students Final Projects On YouTube for Viewing!


Flynn Press Pass Experiences

IMG_20160630_092145020_HDRWell, the last time I wrote a blog I was considering dropping all ideas of majoring in journalism. However, after being here for almost 7 days I feel more relaxed and positive. It’s like once you figure out how to work the cameras ,adobe editing, and figure out how to work under pressure everything is a breeze. Well, maybe not a breeze but you feel almost accomplished after everything is done and finished.

I may not be the most famous anchor or filmed, but I think that there may be hope for me yet.The truth is this camp has opened up my eyes to whether or not I’m interested in broadcast journalism. I’m not positive that I want to be on an news show and wake up at 4am for the morning news but still have to wear makeup and look pretty, but I think that this program did open up my eyes to how much respect I now have for people who do broadcast journalism.

If I’m going to be honest though my favorite part of this has probably been producing and writing. I think this program has defiantly opened my eyes to consider a job in producing or in regular broadcast. Although, my dream job is working on a magazine. But, this program just showed me that I have more options than I thought I did. Also, this program gave me some insight as to what it would be like to go to the University of Illinois- Champaign.

Forever Confused ( Possibly Future Fighting Illini???? Possibly future anchor/producer/editor )

Natalie Flynn

My Experience at Press Pass- Collazo

This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve felt frustrated, tired, excited, rushed, anxious, but most importantly, now I feel accomplished. I have learned so much in so little time. It was an experience I wouldn’t change for anything.

The first couple of days I was so stressed because I thought it was impossible for me to finish on time, but somehow I did. Everyday I improved in every aspect which makes me very proud. Discovering these skills about me is pretty great. They will definitely be useful for my future.

Also, I fell in love with this campus and the people. Everyone was so nice whenever I needed to interview them. I will surely consider the University of Illinois as a college option.

I think the best word to describe this week is extraordinary. I will never forget this week and the people I’ve met.

First Day Reflection- Collazo

The first day of the Press Pass was not how I expected it to be, yet it was extremely interesting. I learned so much in such a short period of time. At first I was very nervous since but throughout the day those emotions keep changing. By the end of the day I was more surprised than anything. I learned things I had no idea about and that’s why I came here. This program is showing me how great the media world can be but also how much dedication it takes to be part of it. I learned about the RTNA Code of Ethics, the things to be kept in mind, the pregnant I, VO, VOSOTVO, rule of thirds, and the roles of the producer, writer, anchor, everything! I feel like I learned what any college student has to learn in a semester. Also, I enjoyed seeing my classmates’ projects because I saw how we all got very different things from the same space. This was such a productive day; I can’t wait so see what is next.Cl1p2UeXIAE9Vpy

Reflection Blog Montgomery

So far in the Press Pass camp I’ve had numerous of emotions. First I was excited then nervous then frustrated then stressed but now I’m determined. I had previous experience with editing and shooting video and also making news packages but never have I ever been that stressed making one. I think I’m at a love hate relationship with the words “vo and vosotvo”.  So far I love the camp and I can tell that I will be learning a bunch of new things, I just hope I will be able to keep up. I can’t wait to see how everything comes together for the showcase I’m sure everyone has learned some new skill already whether its something as little as taking notes. One thing my broadcasting teacher drills me about every time I anchor is my tone. I can tell by the end of this week I will not have to worry about him ever saying that to me again (among other things). I keep telling myself to stop typing but I have so much to say I think I better end it here.

Fun on Campus

Fun on Campus

Thankyou Professor Collins.

First Reflections – Navarro

Screen Shot 2016-06-25 at 8.31.59 PMThe first day of working during Press Pass was quite stressful. The day was filled somewhat frantic moments, and the deadlines with making the VOSOTSO and the VO were not exactly a calm time. Because our dorm room was so cold, my roommate and I had a lack of sleep, and thus, the morning was not really our strong suit of the day. However, after we had lunch, our moods got much better and the room we stayed the majority of the day in was much more tolerable. I had used Adobe Premiere before, but it has been at least five years and the guide given at the beginning was good for those who have not used Adobe before and I. The camera guide, however, went a bit too fast, especially because my tripod and camera were a little bit troublesome at first. The teaching was very solid and I learned many things than I learned about broadcast than I did in the semester class I took of Journalistic Writing. Overall the class is fun, but certainly demanding of work on the students in a limited time frame.

Reflection Blog- Tkachuk


While packing cheez-its, oreos, and not enough blankets for my trip to Press Pass summer camp two days ago, the thought that kept running through my head was “What do I want to be remembered for when I am older?”. Do I want to be an environmental scientist, a psychologist, a lawyer, or a journalist? I have a keep interest in all the subjects related to the careers described above, but the hardest part is choosing one to be my major. With this difficult question and looming responsibilty in mind, I calmed down by reminding myself that I was making the right choice of going to this camp. I believed that it would help me either rule out or make me love the field of journalism, and so far, my belief seems to be tranforming into reality.

Even though it has only been two days here at camp, I am already discovering what I like and don’t like about journalism as a prospective future career path. For example, while I believed that I would be quick to adapt to the new technology, such as the camera and the editing software, I ended up having a difficult time first learning how to use it. On the other hand, while I believed that I would crack under the pressure of deadlines, I ended up doing very well with time management and matching up the time of the video slides to my voice.

Another thing that the Press Pass camp has helped do is validate my speaking abilities. I have been on my school’s speech team for three years and event captain for two of those, but I was worried about whether or not those skills would carry through into the broadcasting medium. Thankfully, they did, and I found myself very comfortable and animated while presenting my VO and VOSOTVO  broadcasts to the group. I am glad that I am futher improving on my communication abilities and that I am discovering the areas in the field of journalism that I have a special knack for.

Overall, Press Pass had been a blast so far, as not only am I having a great time learning about other campers and professors, but I am also getting first hand experience working with broadcasting equipment and software. So far, eveyone has been expremely encouraging and motivating, so I am greatly looking foreward to learning tons of new things before I go home.

Love, your soon-to-be envornmentally legal psychologically analyzing journalist 🙂

First Reflection blog- Flynn



Today we learned about vo, editing, writing, producing,shooting, and anchoring. At first going into it I really wasn’t to sure what I should expect. Personally, I’ve never had a knack for technology and the idea of being suddenly immersed into a seven day program that usually is taught in a semester was terrifying. To be honest the first half of the day was frustrating, infuriating, and miserable. I have never used a camera ( not one you can throw away later), a  tripod, or a adobe program in my entire life. The idea of being expected to know how to use those things while being talked at and with background noise was…challenging.


I’ve never been good at being under pressure and the first day of media camp was an anxiety attack and heart attack waiting to happen. The beginning of the day for me was completely filled with confusion and guilt that I couldn’t understand the program as fast as my peers. However, the beginning of the day also challenged whether or not I was cut out to be a journalist.


The hard truth is the beginning of today was perhaps the most terrifying, confusing, and horrible days of my life. But, I did learn a thing or two when I wasn’t completely lost. Number one I hate technology and adobe programming, but once you get a hang of it it’s not completely terrible. Number two I actually enjoyed shooting the camera and found it to be interesting and challenging. Being able to work the camera is defiantly something that I want to further investigate how to do. Number three being an anchor was pretty cool and doing the voice overs felt pretty awesome. In some ways being an anchor is like being able to explain complicated or boring things to everyday people and somehow make it fun. And, finally I realized that overall I still enjoyed the writing aspect of journalism the most. I liked being able to write and connect the random pictures I took into one story that made sense.


The point is if you’re really thinking hard about whether or not you want to pursue a major in journalism then come to press camp. Believe me it  will either make you or break you. This morning I felt convinced that I would never step back into a journalism class, program, or even cross paths with a journalist ever again. However, after a hearty meal and a long break along with being able to do the things I loved the most : speaking and writing. I realized that just maybe journalism through unshed tears, confusion, anxiety attacks and all this may just be the right major for me.

Forever confused (but willing to push through) ,

Natalie Flynn



My First Reflection (Nagy)

My first day at Press Pass was a mixed bag. Being in a small office for hours at a time made me yearn to go outside, but at the same time I had fun thinking up stories on the spot. The technology was hard to understand at first and I think it would be even more difficult to me if I had never worked a camera before. Although, once I figured out how to set it up it turned out to be pretty simple. I guess that’s why I’m considering journalism instead of engineering as a career. The dorm rooms are still cold, but I am prepared with not one, not two, but three blankets tonight. Hopefully I will get a better night’s rest this evening.