High school students gain hands-on journalism ...
Every summer since 2000, high school students from middle and west Tennessee have ventured to Lipscomb’s campus for a three-day journalism camp.
From Sunday evening to Wednesday morning, eleven campers took part in journalism classes taught by Lipscomb faculty and students, enjoyed mixers and wrote and photographed their own news stories, the best of which was published on Lumination Network.
The camp is co-hosted by Lipscomb’s Department of Communication and Journalism and the Tennessee High School Press Association and is directed by Jimmy McCollum, an associate professor in the department and the head of the THSPA.
Unique to this year’s camp, the campers gained their hands-on experience at writing and photographing a news story by covering Lipscomb’s BisonBot Robotics Camp for students in fourth through sixth grades.
McCollum came up with the idea to take the camp beyond simply having the campers interview and write stories about each other and instead giving campers a real story to work on that could potentially be published on Lumination.
“Now, they can show the fruits of their labor to their friends and family back home and say, ‘Hey, I was a reporter. Here’s my article. Here’s my news story. Here’s my newscast for all the world to see,’” McCollum said.
In addition to covering the robotics camp, campers attended the different classes that were geared to the aspects of journalism that interest campers the most.
Jai Cosey, a rising junior, especially enjoyed McCollum’s newswriting class.
“Mr. Jimmy’s fun,” she said.
Cosey originally discovered through poetry that she enjoyed writing and is now interested in newswriting, as well as possibly working on her school’s yearbook staff next year.
Makaree Lomax, a rising junior from Memphis, has been interested in journalism for about three years.
“My uncle is a journalist and works with NewsChannel 5 in the sports department,” Lomax said. “He kind of inspired me, and ever since then, I’ve been going to camps.”
Although she likes photography, Lomax is particularly interested in covering foreign affairs.
“I like to show people different cultures that we may not get to see because sometimes we’re a bit too sheltered,” she said.
Lomax said her favorite part of the camp was being among fellow campers who share her same passion for journalism.
“Here, everyone likes to write or they like to take pictures,” she said. “They like to tell stories, and that’s something really cool to be a part of.”
Photo: Lipscomb student Erin Turner, left, examines a photograph taken by camper Billy Pulley.