In this picture…I am surrounded by some AWESOME High School students! They chose to accept the challenge awaiting them in my workshop at IJEA…actually putting News Breaks together! Not all of them knew each other, I knew NONE of them, they had never shot, wrote, edited, produced, directed, technical directed, floored, operated studio cam, audio board, playback, or worked teleprompter, anchored, sports anchored, or delivered the weather….they had new stories, one BRAND NEW story that we picked up when we FIRST met on the sidewalk of the U of I, ….YET, by the time they left ONLY 3 HOURS LATER….we had produced 3 1/2 news breaks, became somewhat of a family derived from successful tortured stress that is found in EVERY newsroom of a particular calibre, and yes…they even went away smiling and laughing! I COULD NOT have had a better group of 19 students for this ambitious endeavor! They did in a few hours…what professionals do in a full day! It’s not perfect…but it was fun and it was full of teachable moments!
I hope they learned what producing news is really all about…and I also hoped they learned a little about themselves. That if you put your mind in a positive place…with a little bit of trust in a Transformational Leader (myself)….the sky and beyond is the limit (cliche I know). They trusted me…and I trusted them and they didn’t let me down! They were truly awesome!!! Thank you for the opportunity.
I also trusted my own set of angels who came to the rescue of EVERYONE! I COULD not have done it without them….Michael Bohlmann for his field and technology expertise, Ken Erdey (all-around production expertise), Taylor Judd (online expertise), our recent graduate – Alexis Rosado (all around everything, especially directing), and my 5 NEW students from TV 1 who came in just to help out wherever they could (and they did just that) Mari, Molly, Ava, Shaq, and Jenni! You ALL were absolutely fantastic! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For coming in with smiles and giving the students and the effort positive support! You all are the greatest and I seriously could not have done any of this without each and every one of you, individually and collectively.
Finally, I really want to send a special Thank YOU to Lynn Holley, the Director and Coordinator of IJEA. When she asked me if I wanted to help again this year with IJEA, I said yes…then I asked her if I could try something new…let the students actually try and put a newscast of some sort together. In 3 HOURS! She immediately and excitingly said yes…made sure we had lunch and sodas (pop)…and did everything to support the process from beginning, middle and end. It was her YES, that paved the way for such a great success! So, I thank you…Onward!
Best, Professor Collins
You can read their blog posts about their experience on this site below (under IJEA tab) and check out their work using the links below! We did not stop recording unless it was absolutely necessary … it was not allowed because I wanted them to gain the full experience and feel of what it’s really like to work in a major newsroom….stress and all. We made mistakes and had a lot of FUN and captured it all on cam! Thanks to Ken Erdey for posting the Videos! Enjoy
*****Click on the link below to view their first time out of the gates!! It was great fun!!!
IJEA News Breaks