BillEinreinhofer
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  • Broadcast Journalism Alumni Reporting From CGTN Beijing, CW 33, and More!

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    There is no better source of information regarding trends in American journalism than the Knight Foundation. The foundation is funded by the proceeds of the sale of the national Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, which took place just before the business model for local newspapers collapsed.

    Strictly nonpartisan, and rooted in the realities of journalism today, the foundation just posted a report on the impact of new media on local TV news. The summary is well-worth reading, as it explains how local TV news has — so far — avoided the dramatic decline in viewership seen by network news programs. It also exams the strategies stations are using to become cross-platform distributors of news.

    Ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China have meant some very long days for NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Grace Shao. Here is her summary of one of those days, reporting for CGTN from Beijing:
    What a day! Woke up at 0500 to the White House’s announcement of a proposed tariff on 100 bln dollars worth of Chinese goods … then proceeded to do a live cross with DC at 0800, 0900, 0930 and live cross with Beijing at 1400 while waiting for the Chinese MFA & MOFCOM’s official response … at 1700 I aired a pkg summarizing the U.S.-China trade tension which was aired again at 1900 … at 2030 MOFCOM held a press briefing and I finally got to wrap up the day with the official response, finishing a final package at 2300….and now sitting on my couch, I’ve never felt more satisfied eating a tub of ice cream!
    Closer to home, alum Melissa Aleman has moved from New York City to the heart of Texas — Dallas, to be precise. And after doing some freelance work, she is about to start working at CW 33.
    I wanted to fill you in on the CW 33 journey. I got the job as AP for NewsFix! I’m very excited for this opportunity. I will be starting April 18! Thank you for everything you and the instructors taught me in NYFA! 
    BTW, you may have seen Melissa’s picture in the current NYFA Viewbook. That’s Melissa on the right … Her classmate with the camera, Lara Gato, is now an Associate Producer at CBS News.
    As for myself, I am just back from Vietnam where I was working on a joint China/Vietnam/U.S. project. It’s something of an understatement to say it was a “challenge” working in three languages, but it was a great experience. I ended up spending a good deal of time in the countryside, including up in the Central Highlands, which saw far too much fighting during what is known there as “The American War.” Da Nang, which used to be more of a small town than a city, has grown exponentially…
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  • Students Fighting Fake News, a Visit From CNBC Correspondent Leslie Picker, Reporting the Austin Bombing, and More From New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    As everyone reading this email already knows, this is a challenging time to be a journalist, especially here in the United States. In fact, some have gone so far as to to term the current style of political discussion here as nothing short of “toxic” to democracy. Marketwatch posted a fascinating story last week on one of the unexpected results of the battle over “fake news”: Journalism schools in the United States have seen a noticeable increase in the number of students attending. This growth in enrollment seems to be driven by a sense of duty, as well as a belief that there are a growing number of career opportunities for those studying journalism.

    Journalism.co.uk is always a good read. Last week they posted an article on how 45 newspaper writers and editors in Slovakia, in response to their paper being taken over by a local oligarch, started their own “paper” … only this publication is primarily digital, but it still has a physical presence. And instead of outsourcing news coverage — as many sites do — they outsourced the business-side of the enterprise. That way they could devote their time to what they know best — journalism. Fascinating story…

    A big thank you to CNBC correspondent Leslie Picker, who was kind enough to take time out her busy schedule to meet with some of the NYFA Broadcast Journalism students. Her detailed description of her own personal career arc taught our students that the process is never easy, but is full of potential. She also told them “the story behind the story” of an award-winning investigation she reported for CNBC. She’s a great role model, and a fabulous communicator. Thanks, Leslie!

    CNBC Correspondent Leslie Picker visits the New York Film Academy.

    NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduate Nicole Cross admitted mixed feelings last Wednesday, when police in Austin, Texas, apprehended the suspect in a series of bombings. The suspect chose to blow himself up, rather than be captured. Nicole reports for KVUE in Austin, and has been following the story (along with her colleagues) from the start. And while the bombings now appear the be over, the story certainly isn’t…

    Former NYFA student Daniella Gemignani reported a complex story last week on how agriculture represents one-third of Brazil’s GDP. (I know that thanks to Google translate.) It’s the kind of story that isn’t easy to visualize. It also involves figuring out complicated economic, business and technological concepts. And then there are the cows … another great job, Daniella!

    Abiola Jinadu traveled a long way, from Nigeria to New York City, so she could study at NYFA. Smart, inquisitive, hardworking, and personable, she has a lot going for her. She writes, via LinkedIn:

    I create and produce content for a living. Folio Communications PLC was my first client this year and I produce content for their online platform – Miss Nigeria TV. 
    Congratulations, Abiola!
    The Broadcast Journalism Update will be on hiatus of the next two weeks. It is Spring Break at NYFA, and I am using it as an opportunity to travel to Vietnam for a feature film project I am consulting on. It is something of an irony that last week I was shoveling snow, and this week I will be looking for places to cool-off. It is the first U.S.-Vietnam-China co-production I have ever participated in, and it promises to be challenging. Any project involving three languages is, by definition, challenging…
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  • PBS NewsHour’s Jane Ferguson Visits New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    As an international correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, Jane Ferguson is always on the go. This month, she found time in her busy schedule to visit New York, so that she could meet with the Broadcast Journalism students at the New York Film Academy.

    Based in Beirut, Jane currently covers stories in the Middle East, as well as portions of Africa and South Asia. After screening examples of her work, she explained to the students the “story behind the story” — what it took to first find, then report, shoot and edit these reports.

    She also discussed a concern shared by all students: “How do you get your first job?”

    One of the highlights of the session was an opportunity for students to talk one-on-one with Jane, where she answered their individual questions as well as helped them practice the essential art of “networking.”

    Jane’s visit was one of a series of unique experiences available exclusively to students in NYFA’s 1-Year Broadcast Journalism Conservatory program. In addition to meeting outstanding news reporters, producers and executives, students also get behind-the-scenes tours of NBC News and other major New York City production facilities.

    The New York Film Academy thanks Jane Ferguson for sharing her expertise with our students.

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    March 21, 2018 • Academic Programs, Broadcast Journalism, Guest Speakers • Views: 733

  • Asset TV, Coffee Time, GeekWire, and Latin America’s Largest Newspaper Feature Broadcast Journalism Grads

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    Want to get a top job in Washington, DC? The secret is to get interviewed by New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism grad Gillian Kemmerer … OK, maybe that’s not the way. But it seems to have worked for President Trump’s new economic advisor.

    Gillian is anchor as well as head of programming at Asset TV, which is out to become the “go-to” source for business and financial news. Plus, she even got a mention last week in an item by legendary New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams. I think that is a first for NYFA!

    Meanwhile, there is more great news from Brazil…

    Paula Varejao’s wonderful series Tá na Hora do Café (Coffee Time) is back for a second season on Globo’s satellite channel. Paula has traveled around the world looking at the culture and traditions that surround this most beloved of breakfast beverages. She wrote, via Facebook:
    “É hoje a estreia da segunda temporada do Tá na Hora do Café, dessa vez pelo mundo! Às 22h30 no Mais Globosat (canal 544 da Net). Olha um pouco do que vem por aí!”

    (Today is the premiere of the second season of Tá na Hora do Café, this time around the world! At 22:30 pm on the globosat (Channel 544 of the net). Take a look at what’s coming!)
    Staying in Brazil … OK, Brasil … Last week I heard by email from recent NYFA grad Isabella Faria.
    A lot of things happened in the last few months so I’ll try to sum everything up! When I was finishing the workshop in NYC, a job came up. The description was simple: “You will shoot some stories and edit videos for the biggest newspaper in Latin America, Folha de S.Paulo.” I said: “Why not? It is exactly what I have been doing for the past two months.” I applied and, one week later, I was back in Brazil talking to my future co-workers … I’m really happy and thankful for the job and for the workshop. Thanks to NYFA, I am at the biggest newspaper in Latin America.

    Here is one of her stories, about the high price of public transportation in São Paulo. Isabella edited it herself! As she did this story about the 50th birthday of the most famous dance company in São Paulo.

    See, newspapers aren’t just newspapers anymore…

    Finally, I heard via Facebook from Summer Session grad Starla Sampaco. Who, among her many talents, “speaks” emoji…

    “Hi friends! Very excited to announce that I’ve accepted an offer to host and produce videos for GeekWire. Check out the pilot episode of GeekWire’s new online show, TLDR.
    It’s a quick daily rundown on all things tech
    .” 🎥🤓🤖
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  • Fake News, Twitter Rights, and NBC News: Weekly Updates from the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    Have you ever noticed how “fake news” (false rumors, conjecture, outright lies) seem to spread faster on social media than the truth? It turns out that isn’t a subjective assessment, but an actual fact. The Washington Post reports on a recently conducted survey that charted the speed with which phony stories were disseminated via Twitter, and compared the results with the speed actual stories were passed along. “Fake news” consistently spreads faster. Why? According to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it is because the “fake news” is more sensational, attracting (and engaging) people who otherwise might ignore it. What does that mean for those of us who report real news? It means we have to work even harder to find story elements that will grab the attention of perennially distracted audiences.



    One of the reasons why the New York Film Academy (NYFA) bases its Broadcast Journalism programs in New York is the outsize role the city plays in all aspects of media. Just block from the NYFA campus, an important court case is being heard regarding the nature of social media, in particular Twitter. Present Trump has blocked certain individuals from commenting on his private and public Twitter feeds. One of those banned has taken the president to court, arguing that social media is the 21st century equivalent of the 18th century town square, and preventing anyone from participating violates the Free Speech clause off the U.S. Constitution. This case will likely to go all the way to America’s top court, the Supreme Court.


    Meanwhile, NBC News marked an anniversary last week, as the NBC Nightly News celebrated its 70th birthday. (The program has had several titles over the years, but has always been NBC’s primetime news broadcast.) As some of you know, the NYFA Broadcast Journalism School began as a partnership with NBC News. It’s a relationship we continue to value.


    So, regular readers of the Weekly Update know that this is place where I usually include “alumni news.” Well, this week is no exception. However, the alum being featured is not a former student, but a former faculty member — in fact, the former Chair of the department! Marian Porges helped create the NYFA Broadcast Journalism course-of-study, then she returned to NBC News, where she became Vice President for Standards and Practices. Last week I heard that Marian is being promoted to head that crucial department. (It’s the one that makes sure journalists, like us, have done a thorough job prior to a story hitting air.) Congratulations, Marian!

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  • Fair Use, Syria, Music Therapy, and James Blunt: Updates from the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    Copyright is an issue that producers come up against again and again. Students often ask me about using clips from well-known films and TV programs, or portions — sometimes very long portions — of popular songs. My response is always the same: Everything is owned by somebody. In fact, usually a number of somebodies…

    In news, we will often acknowledge the source of a few seconds of borrowed video with a “courtesy,” listing the source of the material. Here in the United States, there is a principle called “fair use.” If you do not diminish the ability of the owner of the material to sell it, or use the material as the basis of commentary or for an educational purpose, and you don’t use a lot of it, you are probably OK. Or you’re not. This why TV stations and networks have lawyers. (This legal interpretation applies only in the United States: Every country has its own copyright rules and regulations.)

    A recent court decision involving Fox News further clarifies this issue. A company went into business selling digital “clips” of Fox News programming to subscribers. They termed it “fair use,” claiming they were only redistributing material that has already been distributed freely by the copyright holder. The court said NO, the material belonged to Fox, and distributing it to subscribers without permission from Fox was like selling somebody else’s chicken. (OK … I added the chicken part, but the principle is the same — if you don’t own it, you can’t sell it.)
    There is no “fair use” outside of news. To give you an example, a number of years ago I used a clip from a classic 1930s Hollywood film called The Maltese Falcon. It was part of the tease for the first episode of a PBS documentary mini-series called The Stuff of Dreams. (Extra points if you can name the classic English-language author who originally used that phrase. Answer below…)

    To use the clip, I had to negotiate payments for two actors (both dead), the director (dead), the writer (dead), the composer (dead) and the studio which currently owns the film (not the studio who originally made it). I did all of that before the program was broadcast, because afterwards these folks (or their legal heirs) can ask whatever they want, and you have to pay because you cannot “un-broadcast” the program.
    And the author? William Shakespeare who, as he has been dead for centuries, does not have a lawyer. Plus the filmmakers used it before I did. Of course, they’re all dead.
    I heard from NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Ahlam Tabra via Facebook last week. The TV channel she works with broadcasts from Dubai, and is one of the most reliable sources of information about what is going on inside Syria.
    “Since I have come back from NYFA, I have done a lot at work. Doing a daily talk show is amazing, but it is exhausting. As you said, there is never enough time, budget, or people. We run all day long to do a watchable 52 minutes.”

    Keep up your important work, “Loumi.”
    Also via Facebook, I got to see former NYFA student Georgia Hammond’s latest project, a wonderful short video about how music therapy is part of the treatment program at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

    It’s Music Therapy Week and we can definitely say Sydney Children’s Hospital is a much happier (and louder) place thanks to the amazing work of the Music Therapy Team. In this video Music Therapist Matt shares how music can bring comfort and joy to patients and their families when they need it most.

    And, thanks to Facebook (I see a trend here…), I found out that Brazilian NYFA grad Livia Fernanda recently interviewed British music star James Blunt. She got to use both the interviewing skills she developed at NYFA, and the English she had a chance to practice while she was in New York:

    Momento em que gastei meu inglês. Entrevista com o dono de “You’re beautiful”, James Blunt 🎬🖤 #jamesblunt #theafterlovetour

     

    I also learned that emojis mean the same things in both Portuguese and English. At last, a true international language…

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  • Blockchain, Gothamist, Citizen Journalism, & TV Asia: Updates from the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    So, what do you know about blockchain technology? It is the technology behind Bitcoin, a so-called cryptocurrency. Put simply (probably too simply), instead of there being one, central “computer” where all the records of an enterprise are kept, there are an unlimited number of “users” who are keeping the records on their own computers, which (in theory) keeps any individual user from cheating. Blockchain technology is becoming a disruptive force in many industries, and it looks like the news industry might be next.

    The always interesting Journalism.co.uk posted a story about Civil, a “decentralized journalism marketplace,” that is using a USD $1,000,000 grant to set up crowd-sourced online news operations in a variety of places, including Chicago here in the United States.

    Personally, I am wary of so-called “citizen journalism.” Being a journalist requires a series of essential skills. Just buying a video camera (or a mobile phone) doesn’t automatically imbue someone with those skills.

    The problem is that large news companies seem to be getting only larger, and dropping coverage of a vast number of areas both geographically as well as subject-wise. So-called hyperlocal news organizations were supposed to fill that gap. But here in New York, Gothamist and DNAinfo both closed, as have many Patch outlets nationwide.

    In a piece of good news, public media outlet WNYC has put together funding to revive Gothamist. That may be the only way local news can survive, within a “public service” economic model.

    As for Facebook, the technology giant which at one point was expected to dominate global news distribution, TechCrunch reports that more efforts are underway to separate legitimate news reports from viral rumors, slanders and propaganda. This points to the key problem with uneditied/unmediated “citizen journalism”: It can easily be highjacked by people with agendas, which often don’t encompass truth…

    In alumni news, recent NYFA Broadcast Journalism alum Anita Efraim is now a radio reporter back home in Brazil. She’s working for media giant Globo. She writes, via Facebook:

    My first article for Radio Globo was about one of may favorite themes, the race. During the shooting, one of the interviewees told me something that made me think a lot: everyone who runs, runs for something. And maybe it’s true. Hope you like it! 

    Broadcast Journalism grad Radha Dhar sent me a long email about how one of the student projects she did at NYFA ended up getting her (and a classmate!) professional jobs:

    ’ve been working full time as a social producer and news researcher at TV ASIA since December. I was covering the Hindu Festival of Lights, Diwali, in Times Square for the NYFA News Package project, where I managed to nab an interview with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). This guy from TV ASIA noticed me and interviewed me on the spot, asking for news pitches, saying “We could use young people like you to target millennials!” I told him about my team (Brigette Mancheno & Elina Mukherjee — who later also ended up getting a job from that story) because he seemed pretty excited hearing that we are from NYFA and wanted to know what the students there are up to! (Below is a pic of me out shooting that day!) 

    And now she interviews Bollywood stars on the red carpet. Wow!
     
      
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  • Real Time Social Media Coverage, Fake News, and Stockholm Radio: Updates from the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    Once again, news programs here in the United States are dominated by reports of a mass shooting. And, once again, news producers have to decide what to report, and how to report it…

    As current and former NYFA students have been taught, “the first report is always wrong.” In other words, initial reports are always fragmentary and usually contain a mix of fact, conjecture and misinformation. That means care must be taken in reporting, with accuracy taking precedence over speed. Now, there is a new complicating factor: As social media and cell phones become ubiquitous, it’s not unusual for “real time” information to emerge from crime scenes. Which is exactly what happened last week during the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Students, trapped in classrooms, sent out desperate text messages and videos.
    While certainly accurate in that they reflected students’ actual experiences and fears, how much of that information should be allowed on-air? Does information like this help clarify, or just sensationalize, a story? Might it actually aid an active shoot locate potential victims? There are no easy answers. But you can be sure these questions were hotly debated in newsrooms across the country. Journalism isn’t easy. If it was, anyone could do it…
    Another reality for contemporary journalists is the amount of blatantly false information that is readily available online. The box office success of the new Disney/Marvel superhero film Black Panther has led internet trolls to claim that at some screenings white moviegoers were beaten up by black audience members. (The reports, of course, are false.) They even included images of “victims.” But few journalists believed there stories, in part because they did Google Images searches of the pictures, and discovered where they had really originated. (One was a picture of the former wife of a recently resigned White House staffer, an apparent victim of domestic abuse.)
    It’s our job to always get information from multiple, verified sources, as well as use the power of social media to investigate what appears on social media.
    Swedish NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduate Emilie Olsson has added another job title to her already impressive resume — radio news anchor. Emilie is working in Stockholm, but as I only understand six words of Swedish I can’t tell you what she is actually reporting. One thing I can report is that radio studios sure look a lot nicer today, compared to the studios I worked in back in my radio days.
    Congratulations, again, Emilie!

    On a personal note, I’m happy to announce that my U.S./China coproduction Shanghai: 1937 will be competing in this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival. It’s a great honor to even be considered, and should help our marketing efforts both at SIFF as well as MIP-TV. The two events will be taking place within days of each other in April, one in China and the other in France.

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  • New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism Alums at WTNH in New Haven, Channel 9 in Melbourne, & Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Rio de Janeiro

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    Once again, I am returning to a subject I’ve discussed before — how “newspapers” are no longer just “newspapers.” Last week I visited Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, and I spoke with several faculty members about the transformation of so-called “legacy media.” You can’t get more “legacy” than newspapers.

    Today The New York Times has far more digital subscribers than folks who buy the physical version of the publication. They often “break” stories in the evening, hours before their print edition “hits the street.” The Times has a TV studio set up right off of its newsroom, so that it can go “live” online whenever it makes sense. In fact, last time I visited, they had 75 video journalists. Video has become a central component of the Times ecosystem, with 20 channels and shows. As current and former students know, the Op-Docs channel is a continuing source of outstanding visual journalism.

    DMN posted a fascinating story last week about the Times use of AR (Augmented Reality), the cousin of VR (Virtual Reality). When combined with 360-degree video, it will (I am told) allow “viewers” to actually “walk into” a story.

    Of course, central to the use of AR and 360-video is developing a business model that will sustain them. Technology is great, but you simply can’t give your product away. Perhaps by combining these new technologies with more standard features, and a pay wall, the Times will do just that. We’ll see…

    A big “Thank You” to the folks at Endicott College for welcoming me, along with NYFA Photography Department Chair David Mager and Musical Theater Creative Director Kristy Cates, to their campus last week. We had an opportunity to meet with students considering a three-month “New York City internship,” as well as members of the faculty and administration. They even put our names on a poster!
    More good news via Facebook and email this week. First I heard from Alyssa Taglia, who is working at WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut:
    Hi Bill! Hope you’re well, I wanted to share with you that I was hired here at WTNH News 8 full time as their traffic anchor for Good Morning Connecticut 4:30-7 a.m, and as an MMJ. Early mornings (wake up at 2, or on snow days when we go on early I wake up at 1 a.m) aren’t always the easiest, but I truly truly truly love this business and this career I’m so thankful to have. It’s still amazing to me that just two weeks after graduating I landed a job here in my home state, which was always my goal! Thanks again for everything you and NYFA gave me!

    NYFA alum Alyssa Taglia at WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut.

    Then I found out Bryanna Reynolds is now working at Channel 9 in Melbourne, Australia. (That’s Bryanna on the far right in the picture below.) If there is one quality Bryanna has in abundance, it’s enthusiasm!

    Suzane de Oliveira works for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Last week she re-posted her NYFA graduation picture, and I was deeply honored by her kind words. She wrote, in part:

    The moment so expected, dreamed and destined! NYFA! How many lessons I learned here in the most intense month of my life! … I’m very happy! Dream come true!

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  • Daily Flash TV, Open Exchange, and TV Cultura With New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism Alumns

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    Any of my current or former students will remember how much I emphasize “collaboration” when it comes to the field of broadcast journalism. Put simply, in our craft it is virtually impossible to do what we do alone. (At the very least, somebody has to help carry all of that equipment…)
    Good journalists don’t keep secrets from their coworkers. Instead, they discuss stories and leads with them. In the process, they often find out new, essential information or discover how story elements might be better communicated.
    Journalism.co.uk posted a nice feature recently on how the editors at the 13 international editions of HuffPost (formerly the Huffington Post) collaborated on a story about air pollution. The project made clear the global dimensions of this problem, how in some places simply breathing the air is a health hazard, and the sad fact that low-income communities always seem to be at the greatest risk.
    It’s a thoughtful, important, and alarming series.
    Perhaps it is not coincidental, but as we shiver here in New York, I have more reports on what some of our graduates are doing in warmer places…
    Danielle Beckford posted some good news on Facebook over the weekend:

    “Got an amazing opportunity to do what I love to do, report on the top social media trending topics for the week on @dailyflash.tv… Catch me on America’s favorite TV happy hour this Monday.”

    Daily Flash TV is one of those cross-platform news services, which appears on TV stations across the country, while also have a strong social media presence. Another fabulous job, Danielle!

    Far further south, where it is in fact summer, Vanessa Lorenzini is working as a multimedia reporter at TV Cultura in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Via LinkedIn she wrote:
    “Thanks to everything I learned at NYFA, now I can work all by myself. I record, interview, write the scripts and record the voiceovers. I am really happy.”
    That’s wonderful to hear, Vanessa. I still show students a story Vanessa did about how to keep your pet dog safe during cold New York City winters…
    And speaking about chilly New York, recent graduate and now former Teaching Assistant Hannah Palmhagen wrote me via good old-fashioned email about the job she has at a financial consulting company called Open Exchange.
    “I’ve been here at Open Exchange for two weeks now and it’s great, learning the process and understanding it better. I’m under contract as a Video Editor, although once settling in I will shoot the presentations and interviews with the bankers and investors that we work with as well.”
     
    Fact is, Hannah is so new on the job that she doesn’t have any work pictures yet. So here she is, back when she was a NYFA student, using one of Broadcast Journalism program’s Canon C300 cameras to shoot a story. Congratulations, Hannah!
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