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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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

News is just a click away

"Do you like to write or take photos?"

That was my opening line last night as I reached out to a couple of hundred high school students at the annual Cerritos College University fair held in the campus gym. While the goal of the event is to stage a university fair emphaszing four-year colleges and universities from around Southern California, the entire state and the nation, each year the college opens up a few tables for Cerritos programs to let high school students know we offer a good first two years of study. I was there to promote the journalism and radio-tv programs.

If students replied (often in front of their parents) that they like to write, I pitched writing for the student newspaper here. If they like to take photos, then I needed photographers. And then the stronger pitch followed to get them thinking about coming here. If they didn't like either, I asked if they like to design things (we need page designers) or if they ever wanted to be on radio. If I struck out then I simply suggested they needed to follow campus news in our print or online edition.

Each pitch, regardless of outcome, ended with our outstanding web site where they could keep up on campus news. My table was infamous for the evening because I was handing out free clicker noisemakers with the web site address printed on them. "Cerritos news is just (click, click) a click away." Always gets a smile and everyone wants a clicker.

The other vendors don't like them, though. Imagine hundreds of people walking around in a closed environment clicking away. Drives them mad. I got three faux death threats. Of course, at the end of the evening, the vendors all came by my table wanting their clicker, too.

I also got the opportunity to connect with head counselors from feeder high schools and sell my program. "I'm the one responsible for all the noise," I'd say. And immediately I had a bond with them.

Pile of Talon Marks clickers
Photo courtesy Cerritos Photojournalisim class


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