New media students train with emergency responders

Jim Patton of the Corvallis Fire Department is interviewed by OSU New Media student Joey Bagdriwicz. (contributed photo)

Traffic issues and blaring sirens at Benton and Washington Way disrupted campus for about half an hour on Dec. 14. State police, Corvallis Fire and Rescue and an ambulance participated in training that centered, not on emergency crews, but on thirteen students from OSU’s Student Media Department, who worked to capture the event. The staged emergency offered four teams of students a chance to hone their skills and work across media platforms.

Director of OSU Student Media, Julia Sandidge could not have been happier.

“What a great day! I got the same rush watching the students, as they learned to collect and tell their stories today, that I got telling stories as a reporter,” she said.

They had just six hours to put together coverage in three different media. The team of OSU New Media Communications students, David Johnson, Makenzie Marineau, Audry Wiltz, and Sam Rosenbluth put together the winning entry. Students from bothprint and broadcast media competed.

Daily Barometer editor, Brandon Southward, a political science major said of the spot news coverage,“It was six hours of fun mayhem— chaotic and fun and being able to see how your project turned out. It was all about team work.”

“”Not only did the faculty make this event fun but they made it a learning experience. The training and challenge really allowed us to see what we were capable of, and show us how much farther we can go,” said student Makenzie Marineau. “It was great seeing other media students taking advantage of the opportunities to apply their skills and knowledge. When you put a group of students together with a variety of skill sets and different focuses it’s amazing the results you can get.”

The news drill culminated two days of training, which Sandidge modeled on a program that she developed as a media adviser at Colorado State University.

Sandidge, who came to OSU in June, has 18 years of television news experience.  She hopes that the spot news collaborative training with local emergency services will become an annual event.

“We owe a great deal to the local fire and state police,” she said. “We combined trainings so the students could learn to work with public officials in spot news settings, while creating media in various forms.”

During the first day of training, Sandidge and other student media staff led participants in workshops on ethical decision-making for media and management, teamwork, writing across media platforms, blogging, camera use, audio and video editing basics.

~ Ann Robinson

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