NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Journalism instructor attends multimedia training

Observer adviser participated in Dow Jones News Fund program

Mary Jo Shafer of Lynn, a Northern Essex Community College adjunct journalism/communication professor and advisor to the “Observer,” NECC’s student newspaper, attended a week-long Dow Jones multimedia training academy designed for educators teaching in Hispanic-serving institutions.

She was one of 12 journalism instructors from around the country to attend the ninth annual academy, funded by a grant from the Dow Jones News Fund. It was held at the University of Texas in El Paso.

The intent of the program is to assist journalism educators in acquiring new skills in digital storytelling that they can use to prepare the next generation of Latino college journalists to make them more competitive in the media industry. The educators practice news reporting using a variety of digital equipment, software programs, and platforms.

“It’s important that NECC’s journalism program is always seeking up-to-date skills for our students,” said Shafer.

“The trainers at the academy understand what educators need to learn about new and emerging technologies to better prepare their students for the fast-changing future,” said Linda Shockley, deputy director of Dow Jones News Fund. “This quality of instruction, at absolutely no cost to participants and their universities, is priceless.”

The educators were from diverse teaching backgrounds including print, photojournalism, broadcast, as well as other platforms.

“This program was pretty amazing,” said Shafer. “I am already benefiting from the hands-on skills gained. It will immediately make a tangible impact on my students. It was truly one of the best trainings I have ever attended. I returned feeling energized, equipped, and inspired. I was interested in attending this program because of its experiential nature and its focus on Hispanic Serving Institutions.”

Northern Essex offers an associate in arts option in journalism/communication. Students are provided with an opportunity to experience what it is like to work in the communications field.

The program provides basic courses and practical experience for careers that could include jobs with newspapers, magazines, publishing, television, or radio.

For additional information contact Shafer at mshafer@necc.mass.edu

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