Learning Experiences from All Angles by Jeremy Savitz

To say this semester has been frustrating would be an understatement. I’ll admit, I assumed I could walk right into the journalism world and just take it by storm. I was very much unaware of just how much goes into this career. Through the help of classmates, Nicole, Natalee, and the innovative class structure my frustration level has dissipated greatly.

The last assignment due for the class was the second part of our mid-term. This consisted in finding a story, interviewing sources, and writing the final draft all within 24 hours. Considering we have had a week (at least) to write even our rough drafts, this was going to be no easy feat.

This assignment was very nerve-wracking to say the least. I must say though, reading tweets from classmates who were having similar experiences helped a lot. To be honest, I secretly think Nicole enjoyed reading and watching us squirm! Once I started with my story (on Eddie George’s Grill and their March Madness events) things went much smoother than I anticipated. It wasn’t the most newsworthy of articles, but once I spent as much time as I did starting it, and with our close deadline, I felt as though I had to stick it out.

I was able to get my interviews quickly, and knock the story out. I guess I was one of the lucky ones, as many had trouble tracking down qualified sources in such a short amount of time. Finding a story and sources is ALWAYS the hardest part for me, so once I was able to do that quickly I felt very good about it. Overall, once I got over the initial WTF moment after hearing we had to do the story in 24 hours, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it sounded. It was also a great experience, because let’s face it … what journalists get 2 weeks to write a news story anyway?

A great part of this class, and as I previously mentioned part of the innovative class structure that has helped me become more comfortable, is iTunes U. iTunes U enables us to watch course lectures along with supplemental videos and articles related to class materials on our own time, as often as we want. As awesome as that is, the best part of this is that it allows us class time to write, story find, and talk about stories rather than go over definitions and such.

This is my second class with Nicole, and my second class using iTunes U. I really hope this starts catching on with other classes. I don’t think professors and students really get how much it adds to the class. Having the flexibility to spend 20 minutes debating with classmates (as done a lot in Media Law) without worrying about falling behind on lectures was amazing. I think that is the kind of stuff that students learn from, and what gets them excited to go to class. Not the lectures.

Overall, I would classify my first journalism course so far as rocky. I feel as though things are starting to come easier with the help of the aforementioned things and I feel I am becoming much more open to criticism than I was before. I mean being told for the first time that everything you do isn’t perfect is a tough pill to swallow! 🙂

Post by Jeremy Savitz – Student in Nicole Kraft‘s COMM 2221 iPad Classroom