Fall News Team Blog: That’s A Wrap!

Fall News Team participants with guest speaker Anthony Bettin

On Saturday, Sept. 14, ThreeSixty’s Fall News Team officially kicked off! Eighteen students will spend four Saturdays at the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences writing food and culture stories. The first day’s theme was magazine production.

Students learned was really goes in to making a magazine, from fact-checking to headline writing. Students gained hands-on experience in fact-checking, traveling all over the University of St. Thomas campus to get the scoop.

In the afternoon, students had the opportunity to hear from Anthony Bettin, a digital editor for Tiger Oak Media, who shared his experience as a culture and lifestyle writer for various Twin Cities publications. He taught students how to be curious and ask all kinds of questions, including ones that might be considered “stupid.”

Students shared what they learned on the first day of News Team, including:

  • “Ask all kinds of questions.”
  • “Interviewing is more about listening.”
  • “Be curious and always open to what sources say.”

Next week, students will meet and interview their sources with the help of writing coaches.

ThreeSixty students eat lunch with their writing coaches after completing their interviews.

News Team is in full swing! Today, students met their writing coaches who are industry professionals from all over the Twin Cities. They also met their sources for the first time.

All over the Anderson Student Center at the University of St. Thomas, students spent the morning interviewing their sources and coordinating photographs taken by MPR senior photojournalist Christine Nguyen.

After a break to eat pizza with their coaches, everyone got to work listening back to their interviews, planning their angles, and writing their ledes. Students finished the day with a lesson about choosing quotes and more hard work with some time for reflection. Here is what they had to say about what they learned about themselves today:

  • “That I’m very comfortable with interviews and don’t get nervous about it anymore.”
  • “Today I learned that the journalism business often requires you to adapt your plans.”
  • “I learned that sometimes you’ll go into an interview not knowing what you’ll get out of it. But it will still be an awesome interview.”

Students will return next Saturday to continue working with their writing coaches to finish their stories.

News Team students pose with their coaches at the University of St. Thomas.

Students gathered at the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences for the third day of News Team on Saturday, Sept. 28. The goal was to finish their food and culture stories. They accomplished this with the help and support of their writing coaches, who joined the students for the second week in a row.

They wrapped up the day by beginning to work on their headlines, subheadlines and photo captions. They also began preparing their stories to be shared with their editors, who will join them next week.

When asked to share one writing tip they learned during the day, here is what students had to say:

  • “Don’t worry about writer’s block. Just write.”
  • “I learned how to show my experience, not just tell it.”
  • “I learned how to create a more enticing narration.”

Students will return on Saturday to wrap up their stories on the last day of News Team.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, students returned to the University of St. Thomas College of Arts and Sciences for the final day of News Team. With the help of a group of editors, professionals in the field, students put the final touches on their food and culture stories. They learned about how to write strong conclusions to give their stories the perfect ending and spent time combing their stories for facts to be checked.

As their time at News Team was coming to a close, students were asked to reflect on a few questions. When asked what advice they would give to a future ThreeSixty student, students responded:

  • “ThreeSixty has been the highlight of my high school experience. Make sure to enjoy the moment as your skills and friendships grow!”
  • “Keep asking questions and stay curious.”
  • “Don’t give up and always ask for help if you need it.”

In response to “What advice do you wish you had known about ThreeSixty before you started?”, students said:

  • “I wish I knew how important it is to keep in contact with the journalists and professionals you work with.”
  • “I wish I had known what an impact ThreeSixty would have on me and the friendships I would make.”
  • “I often wondered how the whole camp would go. Would the people be mean? But I worried for nothing since it went perfectly fine.”

Finally, students shared what advice they would give their former self:

  • “You have so many stories to write.”
  • “This isn’t just a camp. It literally changed my life.”
  • “Honey, go in there and rock it! Find your voice that you’ve been hiding through all these types of writing. You’re amazing.”

Look for these students’ stories in an upcoming issue of ThreeSixty’s magazine and on our website!