How a news video workshop changed my life

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective
Josh Lamberty (left) and Mike Schuh (WJZ Eyewitness News in Baltimore) after the News Video Workshop graduation ceremony. Photo courtesy of Lamberty

By Josh Lamberty, senior in journalism and mass communication

I spent a week in March 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma, for the National Press Photographers Association’s News Video Workshop. This workshop was led by about 25 faculty members, some of the best reporters, storytellers, photographers and producers in the visual journalism industry. Each day brought its own discoveries and challenges.

As a student participant, I was paired with a “shoot ‘n edit” participant, helping them to complete each of their three assignments during the week. Our footage was then critiqued by the faculty in a small-group setting. In between shooting assignments with my partner, we attended large group presentations that helped us to refine a specific part of our craft or provide us with a new perspective. Among the topics presented were the importance of natural sound, injecting heart into storytelling and the importance of journalism in our democracy.

Josh Lamberty at the News Video Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, in March. Photo courtesy of Lamberty

In the evenings, we attended small group cut-away sessions (breakouts) to help us refine our craft even further and pick the faculty members’ brains. Since we all stayed at the same hotel, the faculty members stayed up well into the early morning hours critiquing work and networking with workshop attendees.

I learned about the workshop from a mentor that I met with in January 2019 over winter break. He is a former faculty member at the NPPA workshop and couldn’t say enough positive things about how the workshop changed his career when he attended. Without him, I never would have known the workshop existed. After looking online, I learned the workshop was held over Iowa State’s spring break. Super convenient for me! Students get a great discount for the workshop tuition, which provides a great deal for the experiences, skills, and relationships you’ll build during the week. All of the information can be found online on the NPPA’s website.

This workshop was tailored to broadcast and digital students and professionals. However, the NPPA provides additional trainings, seminars, and workshops for all visual journalists.

The News Video Workshop faculty pose for a photo at the end-of-week graduation ceremony in March in Norman, Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of Lamberty

The workshop slogan is “Give us a week and we’ll change your life.” They did. They changed my approach to storytelling, introduced me to new ways to tell a routine story, and how to inject humanity into my reporting. I loved every second of my experience at the NVW. If you want to tell a great story instead of giving a report, this workshop is for you. It’s not just for professionals, either. This year had the most student attendees in workshop history! So give them a week. You’ll be a part of the family. They’ll change your life, and your outlook on your career will never be the same.

Josh Lamberty is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in leadership studies from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He is an anchor and reporter for ISUtv. He is a community adviser and a teaching assistant for the leadership studies program.