Rich's Musings

This blog is a collection of thoughts about teaching journalism and how I teach journalism at Cerritos College.

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Location: Norwalk, CA

Rich Cameron has been the chair of the Journalism program at Cerritos College since 1997. He teaches a variety of journalism classes and advises the school newspaper, the Talon Marks. Prior to 1997 he taught at West Valley College in northern California for more than 16 years. He has also taught at Reedley and Merced community colleges.

For more information about Rich or Cerritos College journalism, go to the department's home page.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

My students are getting creative again

Talon Marks Sopranos adA few years ago a couple of my most creative students started what is becoming an annual tradition. They decided to create a house ad promoting our program in the form of a replica of some famous pop culture image. First up was The Sopranos. The ad was designed for bring-in competition at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges' bring-in competition for student designed ads. I got to play the role of Tony Soprano. Their effort, shown here, blew away the competition. We made it into a poster and gave copies to all staff members as a souvenir.

Talon Marks Journalist adThis effort was followed a year ago or so with a second ad that parodied the TV show The Apprentice where I was cast by the students as Donald Trump. Our version was called "The Journalist." As with the first ad, we could not include the whole staff, so the other roles were cast by select editors and my instructional lab aide at the time.

Grand Talon Marks adThird up was a takeoff on the computer game Grand Theft Auto and was called "Grand Talon Marks: Write City."

The Latest

Today we shot the next in line. My students have warned me against spoiling the surprise, so I can't reveal the pop culture image yet. But I was cast as the lead role again and this time I had to temporarily lose my hair. I look weird bald.

What has this got to do with journalism? Well, part of what we encourage is experimentation that helps develop the skills we use in putting out our pubilcations. In all the creations so far students have learned about creative ways of expressing a message (albeit by copying someone else), developed photographic and lighting skills and practiced extensive photoshop skills. In each case photos of individuals are taken individually and the final package is put together in PhotoShop. It expands the graphics arts skills. And this time around they shot still and video images of the behind-the-scenes action and I overheard that they plan to put together a video story about the project.

Watch this space for the final project. They hope to have it completed in time for the upcoming JACC Southern Regional Conference next weekend.


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