Virtual Summer is Success

ThreeSixty Journalism offered rich virtual programming this summer, including a new offering in the Digital Media Arts Camp, and a returning favorite, News Reporter Academy.

In each week-long camp, students met with staff and volunteers over Zoom to work on reporting under-told stories. And despite the challenges of virtual programming, it also had its perks: two out-of-state students and one international student were able to participate in the News Reporter Academy.

“ThreeSixty knew it wanted to offer camp regardless of the circumstances this summer,” Associate Director Theresa Malloy said. “The Academy and Digital Media Arts Camp certainly exceeded our expectations. Students produced meaningful and topical stories, while also learning the power of sharing underheard voices.”

This is a screenshot of the Zoom call for our virtual News Reporter Academy. It displays nineteen students, and three ThreeSixty staff members.
Nineteen students participated in the virtual News Reporter Academy this summer.

ThreeSixty Journalism hosted the News Reporter Academy as a weeklong camp back in July. Nineteen students were supported by fifteen volunteers as they engaged in lessons addressing the power of journalism, especially during a pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and related protests.  

They spoke with sources for 11 different stories that fit into the theme of “creators” and enjoyed a visit from Pulitzer Center photojournalist Melissa Bunni Elian. Students were able to interview their sources and work with Writing Coaches and Editors one-on-one in Zoom breakout rooms.   

Students enjoyed writing their articles, particularly because they were highlighting under-told stories. Here is what they had to share about their experience: 

  • My voice matters because it allows me to cover stories that otherwise would not be told.” (Dedeepya Guthikonda, Edina High School) 
  • I learned that there’s a story in everything, and everyone has a diverse perspective to share stories.” (Indigo Davitt-LiuFAIR Downtown) 
  • I learned that editing is never a bad thing and that it is a part of the writing process.” (Gwynnevere VangTarten High School)  

A selection of stories from the News Reporter Academy will appear in the Pioneer Press on Sept. 5, the Star Tribune on Sept. 12, and in ThreeSixty’s fall magazine, which will go live on our website in mid-September. 

This is a screenshot of our virtual Digital Media Arts Camp Zoom call. It displays nine smiling Digital Media Art Camp students, and three threeSixty staff members.
ThreeSixty’s nine Digital Media Art Camp students, joined by ThreeSixty staff.

At the beginning of August, ThreeSixty Journalism was able to offer a completely new camp, held in partnership with the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield MN and supported by Padilla. The Digital Media Arts Camp was ThreeSixty’s first experience hosting a camp explicitly focused on digital storytelling. The camp centered on racism as a public health issue, and nine advanced students attended. 

Students chose the format for their stories, including video, audio, graphic design/illustration, interactive and photo essays. They were each assigned a professional mentor who specialized in the types of stories they elected to tell. Their completed projects have been featured in several news outlets, and appear on our website here. Students tackled the challenge of learning storytelling mediums that they had not previously worked with.   

Here are some of their thoughts: 

  • Seeing all these stories has helped me really see all the forms of media that are useful to help spread awareness. (Jacqueline Martinez, Harding Senior High School) 
  • Seeing all the stories together helps me see the different sides of health equity. Health issues impact each community so differently! (Evan Odegard, Nova Classical Academy)