Aspiring journalists learn the fundamentals from working professionals


Posted Thu, Jul 27, 2017

Photojournalist Gabbriel Christus discussed the difficulties of being a photojournalist, and about his endeavors away from the Broncos like taking pictures at the X Games in Minneapolis for ESPN. [Photo: Bob Amend]

Photojournalism only getting harder
By Tyson Crocker

DENVER, Auraria Campus – The Youth Journalism Conference at St. Cajetan’s on Auraria Campus brings together interesting people and provides insight for young aspiring journalists.

Photojournalist Gabbriel Christus, head photographer for the Denver Broncos, loves his job very much. The one thing he explained to about 100 kids at the Youth Journalism Conference was that his job gets more and more difficult the further along he goes — and it’s not based on the demands of the team.

Fifteen years ago it was one good photo, now people want a 20 picture slideshow,” Christus said. “A good photographer should be able to tell the entire story in one photograph.”

Christus discussed the difficulties of being a photojournalist, and about his endeavors away from the Broncos such as taking pictures at the X Games in Minneapolis for ESPN this Summer. Christus also talked about the hardships of taking pictures at emotional events for the Denver Post, using when President Trump won the election and the aftermath of the Aurora theatre shooting in July 2012 as examples.

“Capture Emotion!!! Christus said.

At times it was tough for Gabbriel to see some of the images again, he explained the importance of the photos in the fact that people around the state, and even the world, needed to see these pictures. It may be tough to do, but in the long run, it helps out the community with tough times, because they see others feeling the same way they are.

“It’s important to tell the stories as truthfully as possible through photos,” he said.

When asked what Christus thought about the photojournalism as a business, he discussed the rapidly growing technology impacting the ways and methodologies that he has to take photos now.

“It’s hard to come up with a concept that hasn’t been done yet, so it comes down to shooting something unique,” Christus explained. “In some ways the photography business is a little tougher now, but in a lot of ways the new opportunities are growing every day with the new technology.”

Students participated in writing activities designed by MSU Denver Kip Wotkyns. [Photo: Bob Amend]

Future journalists gather on MSU Denver
By Arrick Jones

DENVER, Auraria Campus – Budding middle school journalists came together at St. Cajetan’s Center on MSU Denver’s campus for Youth Journalism Day on Thursday. The event started with a sign in at 7:30 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m., covering a wide variety of subjects in the field of journalism. The students participated in activities, and watched a host of guest speakers throughout the day.

One of the activities that the youths participated in was called “Describe It!,” which was led by Kip Wotkyns. Wotkyns is an associate professor of Journalism at MSU Denver. He started the activity by having the kids think of their most prized possessions and describing it in a paragraph without using the name of what it is or who it is.

“Set the scene for your reader,” Wotkyns said when guiding the students on how to write their paragraphs. Some of the kids then read their paragraph out loud, and the others tried to guess what their most prized possessions are. The kids had fun with the activity and had a variety of objects for their most prized possessions. The most common possessions included family members, friends and telephones. However, others were more out there like a 1985 Nintendo and beans for one child in particular.

Another speaker at Youth Journalism Day was Denver Bronco photographer Gabriel Christus, among others. Christus started by giving some background, and then going in to some of his photographs that he has taken over the years. Photos can show the emotion of what is happening at the time he told the students which led into a photo taken after the Aurora theater shooting. “It’s really important to tell it as truthfully as possible,” Christus said while chocking up.

While going through more photographs, Christus said that you have to try different angles while waiting for you shot and that there is a lot of luck involved with photography, but you have to put yourself in position. One student asked, what are the keys to be a photographer? Christ’s said, “To be your biggest critic.”

Youth Journalism Day was insightful and directed towards helping the kids have a better understanding of the field. Throughout the day, many knowledgeable speakers gave presentations and offered activities to participate in, which will help give the students an idea of what they are in for.

MSU Denver professor Kip Wotkyns was one of the guest speakers at Youth Journalism Day.  [Photo: Metro Post-Telegraph staff.]

The youth are our future
By Sean Linton
DENVER, Auraria Campus — “I see your disgusting little eyes open,” said MSU Denver Professor Kip Wotkyns to a cathedral full of middle school students interested in journalism.

The event was Youth Journalism Day held in St. Cajetan’s building in the middle of the Auraria campus. The event, hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Denver Post, offers insight into the world of journalism and allows the students to hear from actual people working in the field.

Notable speakers included MSU Denver professors Laurence Washington, Shaun Schafer and Kip Wotkyns. Some of the topics presented were using adjectives as descriptive details, photojournalism and all the aspects that go into taking the perfect shot, as well as how to leave good unbiased reviews of things as a journalist.

There was a breakfast and lunch provided for the students, and they all seemed to be very excited to be there. It was inspiring to see the youth of today taking such gallant leaps forward in the field. It really makes me feel like the newspaper and journalistic skills aren’t actually disappearing as some have predicted.

Eager students were able to apply what they learned from the speakers and put them to use later on in the day. [Photo: Bob Amend]

Molding the mind of children at MSU
By Devonte Smith

DENVER, Auraria Campus — Young inspiring middle school journalist attended the journalism workshop at Metropolitan State University of Denver in St. Cajan’s Thursday to learn basic skills of journalism and reporting.

The students were able to learn from many guest speakers about what to do, and not to do, when pursuing the art of journalism. Topics ranged from social media, which was taught by Denver Post reporter Lindsey Bartlett, Gabbriel Christus on taking photographs, to how-to conduct an interview, which was taught by MSU Denver journalism professor, Laurence Washington.

Students then were able to take what they learned from the speakers and put them to use on real life people later on in the day.

“You have to like people. You also have to be curious,” Washington said. This advice is something that many of the students kept in mind when they ventured out later in the day to conduct their interviews.

This workshop is something that was also done last year, but this year was bigger and had more eager participants then last year.

“I could tell that the children enjoyed themselves, and really put the techniques they learned to use,” said Mariah Hanson who was one of the many MSU Denver journalism student volunteers helping to run the event.

With such a great turnout, you can expect the event to be held again with an even greater turnout next year.

Students from Denver-area middle schools listened to professional photographers and journalists talk about media trends. [Photo: Bob Amend]

Future journalists of America did not have much to say
By Eric Uran

DENVER, Auraria Campus — The morning of July 20, children from around the metro area gathered at St. Cajetan’s Center on MSU Denver’s campus to listen to photographers and journalists talk about their professions. About 90 students were present for the presentations, while only a few showed interests, a large number of them showed greater interest in their phones or socializing with their friend sitting next to them.

Photojournalist Gabbriel Christus spoke to the students about his role as a photographer and shared a small collection of his photos. It was apparent that Christus is more comfortable behind a camera than speaking to large crowds as his hands remained in his pockets and the changes in his voice displayed the characteristics of being nervous.

“One on one is easier,” Christus says

A few students asked Christus, “What does it take to be a photographer,” a common question from the curious kids. “Take a lot of pictures, be critical of your work,” Chritus says. “You have to have the passion to get into the business.”

Attempts to question multiple students about their thoughts on the presentation were met with blank stares and cold shoulders. They were not interested in giving their comments.

The day was early and the kids were eager to gather their food for lunch, the fled the room with their food and phones in hand, clearly much more interested in what was to be seen on a 4-inch screen.


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