TV Campers Dive into Health Equity

TV Camp
Kennedy Rance listens while conducting an interview with Sam Simmons during the ThreeSixty Journalism TV Broadcast Camp in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center on July 27, 2021, in St. Paul.

ThreeSixty summer camps are magical. This past week, nine students got to experience this special magic. They attended ThreeSixty’s all-star TV Broadcast Camp, sponsored for a fourth year by The Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The theme of the camp explored racial health equity issues in Minnesota, specifically examining racism as a public health crisis.

“Through Blue Cross’ collaboration with ThreeSixty, we are working to give voice to those most impacted by inequity, create greater understanding of where and why health inequities happen and develop the next generation of diverse storytellers,” said Sasha Houston Brown, Senior Communications and Advocacy Consultant at the Center for Prevention.

New this year, TV camp was led by Program Manager and program alum Dymanh Chhoun, who brings more than nine years of newsroom experience into the classroom.

Chhoun said he has been looking forward to leading TV camp since day one.

“I was so happy about bringing great reporters, photojournalists and editors to the students and classrooms,” Chhoun said. “There is so much that I know, and I was ready to teach the students all I know. I was happy with the end result. It was amazing to see the stories. I wish I had the same opportunity to do this as a student because the videos looked so professional – it was unbelievable.”

The first day kicked off with nine budding storytellers eager to dive right in. They worked on a mock TV package, partnering up and interviewing each other. Within minutes, the students had found their angles and put together some incredible videos with just their phones and computers. Not bad for first-timers!

TV Camp studio group
FOX-9’s Mary McGuire was on-hand to coach students through their first anchor read in the University of St. Thomas TV studio.

Students were paired up with media professionals to assemble their TV packages. This year’s partners included University of St. Thomas Emerging Media Department, KMSP-TV, WCCO-TV, KSTP-TV, KARE 11, Twin Cities Public Television,  Star Tribune, Unicorn Riot, University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism, BMA Cable Networks and more. Professionals from these groups walked students through the interview process, writing their scripts, picking out B-roll, and voicing their tracks.

Students also received help in performing their stand-up and recording anchor intros.

While this process sounds overwhelming, students were able to withstand the pressure and thrive in the fast-paced environment that is the ThreeSixty newsroom.

“My favorite part about camp was filming the video. I really liked doing the stand-up, and the quality of the video was so good!” student Gwynnevere Vang said.

As a former TV camp student, I remember the extraordinary feeling of being in the ThreeSixty classroom and working on my own news package. Seeing these students in the very position I was in 2 years ago, with that very sparkle in there eyes that I had, and exhibiting the very passion and eagerness I did, is extremely gratifying.

The future of journalism is in good hands with these excellent storytellers.

Take a look at their stories here.