ACADEMY 2001 THOUGHTS...
Mentors and Students speak out
For those unfamiliar with this very unusual hands on workshop,
everything in the Academy was designed to be fake. We were
doing a fake story at a fake news event for a fake television
station. The made-up station, Malibu News 12 was complete
with a newsroom-type management.
KTVX General Manager Steve Cohen, whose been a News Director
before played News 12's News Director. KGET Producer Bob Dlugos
from Bakersfield was our producer. KCOP Director Dan Hattal
played the same role for the Academy. KNTV's Sabrina Hughes
Assignment Editor was our Assignment Manager. Everything was
But, as they look back, some of those involved got something
very real from their weekend. It was truly a real eyeopener
when America attacked Afghanistan during the second day of
the Academy. Since we didn't have cable or satellite television
access in Malibu Canyon, students & mentors were standing
around car radios listening to CNN's description of what was
transpiring. There was a chilling stillness in the air as
we all listened to President Bush.
Here are some students & mentor thoughts on APTRA Academy
|Sal Flores Photographer KYMA-TV Yuma, Arizona
"I went as a mentor and left like a student. I can't
express how much I learned this past weekend, it woke
up a feeling that had been asleep for years."
"'The academy was really well thought out and well
executed. The students were really into it and dedicated
and hopefully got a lot out of it. Glad I was able to
"I've been considering a career change for a long time
and I came this weekend for professional inspiration.
When the news broke on Sunday (the attack on Afghanistan),
I had goosebumps watching all these professionals (calling
into their stations to see if they were needed at work),
realizing it's a 24/7 job.
It's really a lifestyle more than a job."
" APTRA Academy 2001 was the best reporting seminar
I have attended; with breaking reports and unexpected
rescues, it was as close to "real" as it gets. Without
a doubt, the heart and soul of the Academy is the mentors
who volunteer their time and part of themselves to help
aspiring reporters. It is an experience that changes
the way you look at the news, life, and yourself; you
come away a different person. Sunday's events (the attack
on Afghanistan) made the academy more powerful."
"Wonderful experience. Mentors were a wealth of knowledge.
Best hands-on experience. Since we worked on breaking
news, Sunday's attack on Afghanistan proved that this
really happens and you always have to be ready."
"The Anchor academy gave me the motivation to keep striving
for my goal."
De La Cruz/Student:
"I think the weekend was extremely successful, and I
want you to know - it confirmed my beliefs that this
is what I want to do with the rest of my life."
"It was truly a profound learning experience for me,
and one I will treasure always. A thousand thanks"
Goldstein/Mentor/KCAL TV Reporter:
"I had a great time. It was great to see the spirit
and energy of aspiring journalists. I wish I had a program
like this when I was learning the business."
Hughes/Mentor/KNTV TV Assignment Editor:
"I had so much fun. I can't wait till next year and
I am already getting other people excited about it.
We had a great group of people who put fantastic stories
together. Not to mention the great job by L.A. County
Brian Jordan/L.A. County Fire Department PIO:
"Awesome. I learned so much here. It taught us how to
handle a news conference. (The students) were some very
"I learned it's a lot of hard work to put a package
together. I'm amazed at how little time it takes professionals.
I will definitely come back next year."
Orozco/Mentor/KOCE TV Anchor-Reporter:
"It was a blast! I had a great time!"
|Tom Galligan/Student/Atlanta, Georgia Sales-Marketing
"Very good. Exposed me to a profession I didn't have
a background on. Insightful. Mentors are excellent."
Acevedo/Mentor/Freelance Reporter KVEA Telemundo:
"I feel lucky to have met such bright students. The
weekend felt real and it was incredibly fun. Had a blast!
Sunday's events (the attack on Afghanistan) remind us
of why our job is important and to take it seriously."
"Indescribable for my self-esteem. Learned so much and
got so much positive feedback from the mentors."
Hector Gonzalez/Mentor/KMEX TV San Diego Photographer:
"Very gratifying experience."
Sylvia Contreras/Student/San Jose State:
"Great. Unforgettable experience. Mentors are helpful.
I won't forget it."
"It was beyond my expectations. The sense of spirituality
of the mentors was so positive, it rubbed off on the
|Charmaine Dixon/Student/Freelance Writer-Producer:
"My overall impression was that it was an amazing experience.
It was a great baptism by fire. I was overwhelmed by
the mentors -- how seriously they take it."
Abraham/Student/Copy Editor and former Reporter/Anchor:
"It was a great re-introduction to the challenge and
thrill of TV. Learning from such talented mentors and
working alongside other students with the same passion
was the highlight of the program.