BY SARA PETTY
As July approaches, instructors are preparing for a new class structure for KEMPA Summer Journalism Workshop (KEMPA SJW).
Instead of signing up for classes in one subject area, students will have the opportunity to take two types of classes, basic and intensive, to help expand their journalism knowledge in multiple areas.
"Journalism is evolving," said KEMPA SJW Director Patrick Johnson. "In the past few years, the journalism industry continued to struggle with what the identity of the business is. This slowly crept into the scholastic journalism setting....Last year, we spent a lot of time redeveloping the camp experience; we added the interns and developed the KEMPA Kamp and KEMPA Kup programs. This year, our next step was to redefine the educational component. Our goal is to take one last step in 2015 with a potential change in location."
While both the basic and intensive classes will feature small class sizes, with 12 students being the expected maximum, the goals of each will be slightly different.
"The biggest challenge of any camp or conference is the clock," said KEMPA SJW Assistant Director Jamie Born. "There is so much to learn, and there is never enough time. We have such amazing instructors who are prepared to share their expertise with our student journalists; the hardest part will simply be jamming as much into these four days as humanly possible."
As the name suggests, the basic classes will provide more of an overview of a subject area and allow campers to get an introduction to a topic with about five hours of instructional time. The intensive classes will aim to make campers "experts" in their chosen class with 25 hours spent exploring a certain subject.
"This format is something different from any other summer journalism camp in the nation," Johnson said. "We are being innovative and we can only hope that this innovation expands our program in the future."
Both directors are confident that the changes will help the instructional time and other activities prove valuable to all involved.
"If you’re going to be a successful journalist today, you need to know a little bit of everything," Born said. "It’s exciting that KEMPA recognizes this shift and has revised its instruction to yield the most positive results."
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