For four years, the last two weeks of June have become a professionally inspiring time for me.
That’s when The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism team up to sponsor the annual High School Media Innovation Camp, which mashes savvy future journalists with digital whiz kids to imagine what the future of news reporting and delivery might look like.
This year’s camp kicks off Monday, June 21.
The energy and enthusiasm the students have for the First Amendment and for storytelling — and their sheer optimism — make me excited for the future of our economically pummeled industry.
Students are provided hands-on instructions from Cronkite School’s educators as well as digital innovators from The Republic and our larger USA TODAY Network.
Augmented reality, social/TikTok videos, virtual reality, drone coverage, storytelling through gaming and quizzes are all types of immersive journalism that have been used by the students in past years to examine academic challenges and dating do’s and don’ts. In 2019, the focus was on gentrification of downtown Phoenix’s Garfield neighborhood.
In a typical year, the two-week summer camp is free and residential. An education grant from The Republic’s Season for Sharing funds instructors as well as housing and meals in downtown dorms adjacent to the Cronkite School. Evening activities include Diamondbacks games and swim parties.
The camp is still free this year, but…