by Ariana Noble, June 15 2020
Although shelter in place prevented Mosaic from happening at San Jose State like previous years, that didn’t stop our instructors from giving us the journalism experience to the best of their abilities.
We began our first Zoom call at 9 a.m. Between numerous yawns and short coffee breaks, we started an ice breaker. We each said three facts about ourselves and waited to see if our fellow journalists shared the same experiences, fears and hopes. During our ice breaker, our photographer instructor, Josie Lepe, was taking pictures of us to use for our online stories.
We had a short break, then were instructed to come up with a 250-400 word vignette proposal based on somebody whose life was affected by COVID-19 or who advocated for George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. They also wanted us to brainstorm some story ideas for next week and upload selfies on Google Drive. Due to everyone still learning how to use Google Docs and Google Drive, it was a little hectic trying to figure out where to submit everything.
Then, we were introduced to our partners for our first activity. We were told to interview them during our lunch break and write a bio for them. Once our hour and a half lunch break came, I interviewed my partner over Zoom and we talked for an hour about concerts, college and careers. We practiced interviewing each other and got the information we needed for our bios.
Next, we had a lecture with Sal Pizarro on how to read The Mercury News’ online paper; he gave us our username and password for a free, one-month subscription. We went through the paper page by page over Zoom, and he introduced us to “journalist lingo” as well as ads. We also started sharing current news stories — a Mosaic alum, Skylar, shared the story of a law that passed stating LGBTQ+ individuals are no longer allowed to be discriminated against in the workplace.
Covering what we practiced earlier, we had another lecture with Maya Suryaraman; she displayed a PowerPoint on how to correctly interview somebody. We learned tips and tricks, and our instructors shared some of their experiences as well.
Afterward, we joined Josie’s Zoom and learned how to take photos for our stories. Although
we’re at home right now, she said that this information would be useful in the future too. She
showed us some of the pictures she’s taken and explained the “perfect lighting."
To conclude the day, we met with our personal instructors and went over what we had done for the day. I met with Lynn Forbes, and she went over my vignette and story ideas. We talked
about them and she guided me toward more specific ideas and stories. All in all, the first day was full of emails, Zoom calls and peer communication. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I can tell we are all ready for what is to come.