Comm. Day showcases LV

Posted Nov. 9, 2007
Leah Heagy
Keynote speaker Paul McAfee lectures about life as a journalist and answered questions for prospective students at the annual Communica­tions Day on Nov. 2. Eighty-five high school students gathered in Dailey Theatre for the speech. McAfee has been a local journalist for more than 25 years and is currently the interactive operations manager for the Riverside Press Enterprise.

Jonathan Smith
Staff Writer

The future of journalism was the topic of choice on Nov. 2 as high school and college students from the surrounding area participated in the University of La Verne’s annual Communica­tions Day.

The event, which is in its 16th year, was hosted by the Communications Department.

“Communications Day is used to showcase the University of La Verne and the communications department,” said George Keeler, department chairman of communications.

“So many of the high schools’ counselors tell me that it is a ‘look-forward-to’ event.”

The day started with a continental breakfast as students were able to mingle with each other. The students and advisers broke off to attend workshops that ranged from journalism ethics to radio broadcasting.
Elizabeth Zwerling, associate professor of journalism was one of to the faculty teachers for the class “Bringing Home the Big Story.”

The workshop advised several issues of how to cover world and national events by giving the stories a local spin.

The class proved to be a favorite among students. Chaffey High School senior Nathan Quintero, one of the attendees of the class, is the co-editor in chief for his publication at Chaffey High School. Quintero stated how much help the session provided.

He liked Zwerling’s approach to the session and found it helpful.
“It helped me take global problems and relate it to the community,” Quintero said.

Other sessions students enjoyed were the hands-on sessions such as working on KULV radio and Producing Television News.

“It was a lot of fun. I got to speak live on the radio,” freshman Alexis Salazar said.

“I really like TV production because it was hands on,” St. Lucy’s Priory High School senior Jacquie Dantic said. “It gave me a lot of tips.”

“The Practical Path to a Career in Photojournalism,” taught by photography professor Gary Colby and Manager Photography Department Kevin Holland, also provided students with tools that help with hands-on training.

Students received help in developing their captions, which some students stated they needed desperately.

“It was fun. I got to learn how to write better captions,” senior Elizabeth Lopez said.

“Many of the advisers told me that the workshop sessions were really sharp,” Keeler said.

After the two sessions, students headed to Dailey Theatre to hear Paul McAfee, the keynote speaker for the event. McAfee used visual aids from his Web site to explain the future of communications media in his speech “Are You Ready For The Media Revolution?”

The speech began with an analogy of The Daily Bugle newsroom in the Spiderman comics and movies and how the newsroom has change today.

“That’s the old world, that’s what it used to be,” McAfee said, during his speech. “We’re going though the most dramatic change in 50 years.”

McAfee explained how his publication has lost significant circulation of print newspapers, but explained how the Internet has become the essential media outlet.

“Our Web site is growing by leaps and bounds,” McAfee said, during his speech.

McAfee mentioned how reporters are no longer becoming specialists, focusing their work on one particular area, but rather are becoming more multimedia minded. This led to McAfee encouraging the audience to seek a well-rounded education in communications that taught various areas like video producing and web designing.

McAfee gave scenarios at how things have changed since becoming a journalist. He mentioned how every night he used to call a copy editor while reporting in Israel to write his story. With advanced technology, McAfee stated that reporters nowadays have wireless laptops that they can use to write their stories and send them as they go along.

According to his speech, McAfee stated that the Internet media has provided a new way of communications. He explained that on a typical day, his publication receives almost 180,000 hits on the Web site.

“I think it was a very involved audience and I was very delighted to see students asking intelligent questions,” McAfee said.

Students and advisers commended McAfee for his speech. However, there were mixed views about the direction journalism will be taking.

“More people are moving to the Web, but certainly not everybody,” McAfee said.

Some students were happy about the shifting change of the media. Others were optimistic.

“I don’t think it would die out. There will still be newspapers, just not a lot of them,” high school senior Amber Valles said.

“It kind of made me scared, but there are people needing magazines.”

“It gave me less hope for my future,” Quintero said.

While the concerns are evident from the students, McAfee just wants the students to remember one thing.

“The key points that I tried to bring home was that the platforms are changing but there will always be a need for journalism,” McAfee said.

The day concluded with an outdoor lunch and the students had an option to view their work of videos they took from the video production class or a tour of the Arts and Communications Building, which houses the communications department.

At the end of the day, students and faculty both enjoyed their experiences and looked forward to what the future brings for journalism.

“Our students have to turn from being a writer to a reporter,” Keeler said.

“The high school students see us as models and they hunger for professionalism,” Keeler said. “They looked up to us for advice.”

Jonathan Smith can be reached at

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