SRL Connected Educator of the Month | May 2019
Justin joined SRL through his local PBS affiliate WHYY about six years ago when he was a special education teacher. At the time, WHYY had set up a Flash Media SRL Lab at LINC High School where Justin decided to learn about journalism techniques and editing software. Thanks to SRL’s training, he was able to secure a Media Arts teacher position at LINC High School. Justin has been involved in helping his students produce phenomenal pieces for SRL.
What is your teaching philosophy when it comes to storytelling?
I had the students practice telling stories only using video B-roll. Then we added audio. Then interviews.
How can student journalism help promote a greater understanding of the world?
For my students, it allowed them to interact with professionals that they normally would not. They went to different parts of the city and met people who do not necessarily regularly interact with young people. They were introduced to careers and places that were foreign to them. They met 2 women from different backgrounds and different struggles. They met a super hip and gifted artist with learning differences who became a successful entrepreneur and business owner. They learned how some people need to do things their way. They also met a first-generation Cuban American who worked and hustled to start a STEM-based company. Someone who was relatable and inspirational.
How can we get youth more interested in the news?
I think to put the news in formats that they understand. I think the SRL did a good job of incorporating Insta stories. But maybe some formats they are used to such as including cuts and graphics. It’s also important to make sure the topics are relatable.
What would life look like without public media?
A little dumber. A little more tied to ratings and sponsors. A little more populist.
What do you hope to accomplish with SRL?
To create worthwhile news pieces, to teach students concrete journalism skills and to connect young people to the community around them.