Day Two: Learning the fundamentals while talking about the moon

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

By Daniela Bravo Berumen, July 20, 2021

After hitting snooze on my alarm clock three times this morning, I got myself out of bed and ready for day two.

We had our first session at 9:30 a.m., Maya introduced us to the fundamentals of journalism with a didactic presentation based on how to build a story. During the presentation we analyzed how brief articles written by past students from Santa Clara High School effectively reflected the values of news such as conflict and timeliness. During this time we learned about the importance of basing our writing on what appeals to the public.

At 10:30 a.m. we had our second session led by the instructors where we focused on brainstorming our main story ideas. Maya went around the room asking questions about what we were planning to report on. Everybody had substantially fascinating story ideas. I didn’t have a clear focus in mind but I shared my interest in writing about California's drought or the injustices within the justice system.

After sharing our broad ideas the instructors helped us narrow down our stories to specific topics based on what we were most curious about.

At 1 p.m., after returning from lunch, Sal led the news review and feature story session. While in session Sal walked us through some of the most popular pieces on the Mercury News. On top of the list was an article about the delta COVID case spike in California. Today’s feature stories were about Jeff Bezos blasting into space on his own rocket alongside his brother, Dutch teenager Oliver Deamen, and Wally Funk who was trained in NASA's Mercury programs years earlier, and the proposition to all students to wear masks in school.

After that, Robert gave an instructive talk on the basis of conducting an interview. In the session we discussed the value in conducting interviews in person in order to hold a real conversation with your interviewee and not only clutch on their words but the emotion and feelings they put behind them.

Overall today went well. We were able to get a much better hold of the schedule and managed to get a lot of work done.

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