Reporting students weigh in on end of semester

By: Arianna Poland

As the fall 2011 semester comes to an end, the students in Reporting for the Media took an opportunity to give their thoughts and feedback on how they felt about the class, and what they thought about their instructor, Corbin Crable.

Crable has been an instructor at the college since 2009 and also serves as the advisor for the college’s student run newspaper, The Campus Ledger.  A Kansas State University graduate, Crable spent time reporting for a newspaper in Nebraska before coming to the college after the paper laid him off.

“I wouldn’t be at the college if I wasn’t laid off.  I was laid off from a newspaper in central Nebraska and I thought my life was over. I was over the moon when I was offered the job,” Crable said.

That layoff was a blessing in disguise and nobody benefits from it more than Crable’s students.

“Corbin is a fantastic teacher and I can tell that he loves his work. He brings passion, knowledge and real experience into the classroom and I think all of his students have benefited from his leadership. So I’d definitely like to thank whatever knucklehead fired him. Their loss is definitely my gain,” said Julius Williams, one of Crable’s students.

Williams said he took the course because he wants to be a writer and knew he needed some practical experience.  He enjoyed the class and appreciated the in-class discussions.

“I’m not a fan of studying theory all the time. I like to apply what I’m learning to real world situations. When a big news event came up and we talked about it, it reinforced what we were learning,” Williams said

That learning, which is structured for students interested in the basics of writing and reporting, according to the course syllabus, took place using a series of teaching methods.  The class is mostly lecture based, but Crable uses PowerPoint presentations, a text book and in class discussions to help engage his students in the topic at hand.

Ashley Jenks, Reporting student, said she liked the class, but not the textbook.

“I felt like there were way too many competing images, and it gave me a headache after a while. I eventually stopped reading it and started using it only as a last-ditch effort for things like formatting,” Jenks said.

Williams had a different opinion of the textbook.

“The textbook was cluttered so it took some getting used to. But I actually liked it. It was kind of like using the AP stylebook. I could find exactly what I was looking for and use it immediately. I didn’t have to wade through a lot of pages trying to find stuff,” Williams said.

Some of the topics covered in the textbook include: newswriting basics, reporting basics, online reporting and broadcast journalism.  According to the syllabus, upon completion of the course, students should be able to recognize the factors that determine news, conduct successful interviews and write stories in print, broadcast and online news style.

Williams said he feels like he’s ready to do that.

“We treated many of the assignments like a real newsroom would and that was probably one of the best lessons of the course,” Williams said.

Jenks echoes that opinion.

“I’m still somewhat undecided on my future career, but I feel like I have more options now. I’m looking into becoming a professor, but if I can’t handle all that schooling, I feel like there’s a place for me in journalism,” Jenks said.

With opinions like that, Crable has to be proud, knowing he’s helping mold the journalists of the future.  He hopes that what his students take away from the course is that they know good writing isn’t dead and that journalism is a tough field.

“If you want to get your foot in the door you have to know that journalism is not a sexy field to work in.  You have to be ready to be overworked and underpaid,” Crable said.

But, all is not lost and there is hope out there for people interested in becoming a journalist, you just have to adapt.

“Overall you have to be ready to make a change.  You have to be willing to be a renaissance journalist,” Crable said.

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