Today was a blur. Has anyone ever seen the movie Annapolis (2006), with James Franco? Baby James Franco, that is. If not, you should definitely go watch it. On that note, I’ve discovered that there are a lot of movies some people at the World Journalism Institute desperately need to watch. A few of the nominees are: Shrek 2 (2004), Divergent (2014), and Molly’s Game (2017), respectively.
But, back to my original metaphor: this week has reminded me of Annapolis because Franco plays a young man struggling to find his place in the Naval Academy. There are boxing matches, impromptu fist fights, and hazing similar to what we’re experiencing at WJI. Just kidding. But it is definitely a learning curve.
Today we learned how to write scripts for a news standup featuring soundbites and clips from a press conference. We heard lawyers present the Chike Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski case, which entails the story of a young man whose rights were violated on Georgia Gwinnett College’s campus. We learned that we shouldn’t use the term “nominal damages” in our standup scripts, and we edited footage in the media lab. Some of us cried. Some of us laughed until we snorted. All of us grew in our skills as journalists.
To end the night’s instruction, we had a Zoom call with WORLD Magazine reporter Angela Lu Fulton. It was inspiring and convicting to hear about her experiences in Taiwan and China. She spoke about all the violence she’s witnessed in protests and how desperately China needs good reporters. I was blessed to learn from Fulton’s wisdom, and I hope I can emulate a fraction of her strength and courage in my own life.