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Journalism Classes Visit PBS NewsHour

On March 18th, 11 students from the broadcast class and introduction to journalism class traveled to Shirlington, VA to visit WETA, which includes the PBS Student Reporting Labs offices and PBS NewsHour offices and studios.

Students started off the day by going into the PBS Student Reporting Labs office. When the first arrived, students were given a quick tour of the offices by Elis Estrada, the director of PBS Student Reporting Labs; Kristy Choi, Associate Producer; Rawan Elbaba, Digital Associate Producer; and Bill Swift, STEM and Health Coordinating Producer.

The SRL team then put the students through a 10 camera shot challenge.. There were three groups where each group worked with different equipment, camera, lens, and tripods. Students were tasked with working together recreate these shots where they were given the opportunity to practice working with composition and framing.

During lunch, Leah Clapman, who is the Managing Editor and Founder of Student Reporting Labs, worked with the students to brainstorm pitch ideas for different video ideas in which student reporters could create videos surrounding that topic. These ideas were ideas for rapid response and packages prompts.

After the brainstorm, students and the reporting labs producers walked over to the PBS NewsHour Office and Studio. Students were given a tour of the studio, from where Judy Woodruff sits for the show, as well another studio where PBS does other shows and pledges in order to raise money. Students were given the opportunity to take pictures throughout the studio, as well as sit in the chair where the anchors and correspondents would sit. They were also taken to see where the producers work from during the show in the control room.

While at the studio, students also talked to four PBS NewsHour staffers: Lora Strum (Audience Engagement Specialist), Rebecca Oh (Segment Unit and Journalist), Harry Zahn (Production Assistant, Segment Unit), and Dan Cooley (Social Media Editor/Producer). They talked about a variety of topics such as the journalism changing on a variety of platforms, as a lot of journalism is moving to a more digital level.