Communication Pros to Mentor Teens in Real-Life News Gathering

Radio One-Indianapolis news anchor Kimberly Wells, WISH-TV sports director Anthony Calhoun and other communications professionals will help present a multimedia workshop for 16 central Indiana high school students, hosted by the Indianapolis Association of Black Journalists (IABJ) June 19-26 at Butler. Students will visit area news and public relations concerns and accompany working reporters and broadcasters in the field.

Wells, a Butler graduate, is also a producer/correspondent for “Operation Breadbasket presents Harambee,” on ECF Media. She and Calhoun, a former instructor for Butler, will both mentor workshop participants in internship experiences at local stations.

DeShong Perry-Smitherman, a newscast producer for WTHR, will direct the workshop, coordinating with Nancy Whitmore, Ph.D., director of the Eugene S. Pulliam School of Journalism at Butler. Perry-Smitherman is president of the Indianapolis Association of Black Journalists.

“The Multimedia Journalism Workshop for High School Students at Butler is an eight-day residential program that immerses Indiana students into the field of journalism,” Perry-Smitherman said. “Through classroom experience at Butler and internship experiences inside seven newsrooms and public relations firms across the city, our organization gives young students an early opportunity to see the multimedia communications field firsthand. Our workshops will cover the editorial meeting, news writing basics, ethics, plagiarism, press release writing and press conference production, storytelling, the art of the interview and the science of research.”

Students selected for the workshop represent 13 central-Indiana high schools (Broad Ripple, Herron, Columbus North, Warren Central, Ben Davis, North Central, Cathedral, Lawrence Central, Carmel, Arsenal Tech, Perry-Meridian, Fishers and Hamilton Southeastern. For two days, they will intern at WTHR, WISH, WRTV, The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Recorder,Emmis owned WIBC-FM, and Borshoff Public Relations. “It’s a unique opportunity that couples the classroom expertise of Butler professors and real-world experience,” said Perry-Smitherman.

She will help lead the broadcast section of the workshop. Other sections and leaders include

Print: Leisa Richardson, assistant metro editor of The Indianapolis Star

Online: Hyacinth Williams, Internet content producer, formally with WISH-TV

Public Relations: Kyna Willis, public relations/marketing coordinator for Goodwill Industries and Yolanda White of Borshoff, Johnson, Mathews Public Relations

Broadcast: Sandra Chapman, WTHR investigative reporter; Deanna Dewberry, WISH-TV anchor; Steve Jefferson, WTHR reporter

Joe Boyce, adjunct professor of journalism at IUPUI, will speak on his former career with the Wall Street Journaland Chicago Tribune. Butler College of Communication faculty Loni McKown and Ed Kanis will also lead workshop sessions. Journalism instructor McKown will present basic news writing and ethics; Kanis, with the Strategic Communication program, will cover Public Relations 101.

According to Whitmore, IABJ’s decision to bring its workshop to Butler was partly inspired by recent Butler journalism graduate and IABJ member Natalie Evans, who worked with Perry-Smitherman during two internships at WTHR. “When DeShong brought up the idea for a workshop at an IABJ meeting, Natalie said she thought the School of Journalism would help. So DeShong contacted me, and we began discussing the idea,” Whitmore said.

During the workshop, some students will produce web and broadcast news packages using equipment and software in the Fairbanks Center’s television studio, control room and edit bays. Christine Taylor, an associate professor in the Creative Media and Entertainment program, will play a major role in producing those broadcast packages, Whitmore said.

“One of the considerations is the technology each TV station uses and our ability to take it and put it into our system for editing and production,” she said. “Basically, we would not be able to partner with IABJ in this workshop without the expertise of our creative media and entertainment colleagues and their longstanding commitment to providing students with professional grade production studios, field gear and editing software.”

“Certainly the depth and breadth of activities the students will be engaged in during the IABJ workshop is impressive,” Whitmore said. “But add to that the opportunity to work alongside some of the most accomplished members of the media and mass communication profession in Indianapolis, and you have a truly outstanding experience for any student interested in the field.”

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson(317)

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