Karen Hua
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  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism – March 2020 Update

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    Without a doubt, the spread of the COVID-19 virus is at the top of TV newscasts around the world. That’s not surprising. That said, it is “business as usual” for the Broadcast Journalism department. And even if we can’t meet in Manhattan, my office in cyberspace is functioning just fine.

    The Broadcasting Department connecting online

    Something else that has been transformed is the U.S. Presidential race. Big campaign rallies have been cancelled, until further note. But, before they were, NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Celina Liv Danielsen was traveling throughout the United States for Denmark’s TV2, and was able to capture when President Donald Trump arrived in New Hampshire.

    NYFA Alum Celina Liv Danielsen captures Donald Trump at his campaign rally in New Hampshire.

    As voters were getting ready for Super Tuesday and the selection of Democratic convention delegates in 11 different states, NYFA alum Karen Hua covered a Bernie Sanders rally in California for the NBC affiliate station in Bakersfield; note that she covered this event solo and posted on social media. TV news reporters are now expected to do so, as such
    postings are essential to building and maintaining audiences.

     

    Meanwhile, Brazilian Broadcast Journalism graduate Livia Fernanda had a far more pleasant assignment. She got to cover Carnival in Saō Paulo… but everything ended at midnight with the arrival of Ash Wednesday.

    NYFA Alum Livia Fernanda covers Carnival in Brazil

    Former NYFA student Suzane de Oliveira works for the French news agency AFP in Rio de Janeiro. An important part of her job is taking international AFP stories and repackaging them for the Brazilian TV market. Certainly one of the most moving stories I have seen in a long time was about a father in Syria, who found the best way to keep his young daughter calm as their town was under artillery and aerial bombardment was to make her laugh. Every time an explosion took place nearby, the two would burst into exuberant laughter.

    Of course, some of our Brazilian grads (like some of our Danish grads) find their way back to New York City. Mariana Janjacomo was reporting from in front of the New York Stock Exchange recently, explaining the confusing economic news. She works for Jovem Pan, the main Brazilian radio station based in São Paulo. It is also the largest network of radio stations in the southern hemisphere and Latin America. Like other legacy media companies, they’ve branched out into online video news.

    Thanks to all of you that passed along information about the NYFA Moscow Journalism Summer School (JSS). We received more than three times as many applications and queries as we have available openings. Successful candidates will be notified later this month.
    Finally, if the Cannes Film Festival takes place this May (and right now, that is a big “if”) my independent feature film Invisible Love will be part of the Marche du Film. I must admit I was seriously surprised when I received a copy of the latest poster for the film, and discovered I got top billing! If anybody’s names should be up there, it ought to be Vietnamese actress Hoàng Phượng and NYFA Acting for Film alum Kazy Tauginas. They portray the two characters seen walking on a beach, near Da Nang in Viet Nam, in the poster.

    Poster for ‘Invisible Love’

    Stay tuned for more.
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    March 19, 2020 • Broadcast Journalism • Views: 910

  • New Years Update From New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism

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    We’re only a few weeks into the New Year, but it already feels like months have gone by. That is the essence of digital journalism today. And with the coming of the New Year, I’ve heard from some more NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduates.

    One of the last times I saw Alyssa Cruz was when she was sitting in our Green Screen studio, getting ready to record on-camera segments for her Resume Reel.

    Following graduation, she spent time in New York, then returned to her home country, the Philippines. But then she was on the move again. She wrote recently:

    “I am currently a video editor and narrator for a media company which features food documentaries, here in Singapore.”

    Having worked in Singapore, I can tell you that it is an important hub for Asia-Pacific media production.

    Another graduate, Tommy Germain, was here at NYFA a few weeks back. And he arrived with a camera crew! Tommy is originally from Cameroon, and from there he went to Brazil. He’s had a successful acting career, but now he is working behind the camera as well. His first digital project is all about New York City. He and his team flew all the way from Nigeria, just so he could include NYFA in this program.

    Thanks, Tommy!

    Six months ago, a series of devastating earthquakes hit southern California. NYFA alum Karen Hua, as part of a series of end-of-the-year stories, went back to see how people living in the communities hit hardest by those earthquakes were coping. And the news director at her station sent her by herself…

    This is what it means to be a multimedia journalist (MMJ.) Karen brought along all of the camera, lighting, audio and editing equipment needed for the assignment, packed in the back of the station’s SUV. Karen herself described the trip:

    “Nothing like solo MMJing in the desert, popping your tire and having limited service! It’s one big adventure!”

    Working “on the road” may sound glamorous, but the truth is it often involves plastic dinner plates and lots of coffee…

    If you are one of my former students, you know that I have a tendency to launch into personal stories that I feel help “illuminate” the subjects we deal with in class. (And if you are Evgenia Vlasova, you have probably heard all of those stories at least four times…) 

    One of those oft-told stories is about me traveling on-the-road for a month, trying to record voiceover narrations in a different hotel room every night. (Rooms similar to the one pictured above.) The one way I finally was able to get good audio was to go into a hotel room closet, close the door, put a blanket over my head, and read my script by flashlight.

    For those of you who doubt successful video producers actually use such techniques, I submit the picture below of NYFA grad Wes Newfarmer. Yes, this hack actually works…

    Finally, just before Christmas, Genia and I spent a week in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. We were there to teach a Journalism workshop for mid-career professionals at Kazmedia, the nation’s dominant TV media company. We weren’t there to tell them what to report, but rather offer suggestions on how to report. The workshop was funded through a contract with the US State Department, one which NYFA won over other colleges and universities. And at the conclusion, one of the national channels there announced they were going to produce a new political talk show based on what we explored in the workshop. (The folks with the certificates in the picture below were some of the attendees.)

    We must have done well, seeing as we will be going back sometime in the spring to hold a second workshop. In addition, NYFA responded to another Request for Proposals from the State Department and was selected to offer a three-week Journalism Summer School for early-career journalists this coming July in Moscow.

    It’s a good thing one of us speaks Russian…

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    January 21, 2020 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 629

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism – End of Summer Update

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    While there are sure to be some warm days ahead, by and large summer is pretty much over here in New York. Looking back over the past few months, NYFA Broadcast Journalism graduates have been exceptionally busy.

    Two major earthquakes in Southern California had Karen Hua of KGET in Bakersfield putting in long days—and equally long nights. It was a situation where people depended on TV news reporters to provide them with accurate, up-to-date information. When it comes to natural disasters, it can sometimes be a matter of life and death.

    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update
    NYFA grad Celina Liv Danielsen is North America bureau producer for TV2 in Denmark. She was asked to explain how the President of the United States had announced a desire to “buy” Greenland from Denmark, a massive island that Denmark doesn’t “own.” President Trump cancelled a trip to Denmark after his “offer” was rejected.

    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update
    One of the secrets in our craft is how there are “news” jobs that don’t involve working at TV stations. Take Bruna Bloch, one of our alums in Brazil. She is now the digital media producer for a company called Hub Coworking. She wrote: “I will be responsible for their social media and content :)”

    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update
    Broadcast Journalism grad Miraj Haq, who lives and works in Pakistan, recently posted: “This is the good news I have been meaning to tell all of you. I have signed my first drama with Hum Tv/MD Productions.” That’s right, he is poised to become a TV drama star. This follows making the official presidential campaign biography for the current President of Pakistan, and establishing himself as a popular video blogger (vlogger).

    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update
    NYFA alum Emilie Olsson is a radio news anchor in Stockholm. She recently wrote an episode of Svenska Mordhistorier, a podcast that probes famous (and not-so-famous) Swedish murder cases. She: “Written script for this episode of the podcast Swedish Mordhistorier! Please go into the link and listen!” It’s another example of how the lines between different nonfiction genres have blurred. In fact, these days any project you create really has to be designed for cross-platform distribution.

    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update
    Regular readers of the Broadcast Journalism Update might remember that I am one of the producers of an independent feature film called Invisible Love. Shot in Vietnam, with post-production in China, over the past couple weeks we have been doing ADR sessions here in New York. NYFA Acting for Film grad Kazy Tauginas plays a leading role. I portray a minor character. It’s a period piece, set in 1930’s French Indochina. We are looking towards a Spring 2020 release.


    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update

    Broadcast Journalism Summer Update

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    September 5, 2019 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 910

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Update – June 5, 2019

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    Three years ago, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism students Alisa Arvind and Urvashi Ward made history. They became fully credentialed White House reporters—not “student reporters,” but full-fledged reporters, just like the folks from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, and NBC. 

    They were reporting for NYFA News. That’s right, the news magazine produced by students in the 1-Year Broadcast Journalism Conservatory program! Not only that, they were also the first students of any journalism school to accompany the American President on an overseas trip. Think about that for a moment.—we/they accomplished something that had never been done before, or since.

    Broadcast Journalism Update - June 6, 2019
    Broadcast Journalism Update - June 6, 2019

    What Alisa and Urvashi did speaks to the quality of the course-of-study here at NYFA. It is also an example of the type of persistence that journalism requires. It took them months of emails and phone calls to get official accreditation. Then, one morning they started to receive the President’s daily schedule in their NYFA email account. Truly amazing…

    It’s also the first anniversary of Karen Hua starting as a reporter at KGET in Bakersfield, California. Karen is a graduate of our 12-Week Evening Broadcast Journalism workshop. That’s where she learned how to report, shoot, write, and edit. (Of course, she also needed determination, but she had already walked through the door with that…)

    To mark the past year, Karen put together a video of 365 “moments,” one for each story she reported. Most are wonderful, a few cringe-worthy, and a bunch are really funny. Watching it, you can see her build a body of work, which will eventually lead her to a job in a larger city/market.

    Finally, it is just about six years since I responded to an online job posting for a new Broadcast Journalism department Chair at the New York Film Academy. Answering that ad, quite literally, changed my life. Today I get the chance to do the two things I love the most—teach and create compelling nonfiction video. So to everyone at NYFA—administration, faculty, staff, students—past and present…Thanks!

    Broadcast Journalism Update - June 6, 2019
    Stay Tuned,

    Bill

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    June 5, 2019 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 814

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism Alumni Cover California Wildfires 

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    As anyone who follows American media knows, stories about President Donald Trump and his administration have monopolized the news for months. But this week, an even bigger story dominated the headlines. Two massive California wildfires, one in the mountains of Northern California and the second in coastal Southern California, have devastated communities and resulted (as of today) in the deaths of more than 50 people. An additional 100+ people are missing.

    News coverage of these tragedies has served an important public service function. And two New York Film Academy (NYFA) Broadcast Journalism school graduates are on the scene, documenting the fires and their aftermath.

    NYFA alum Celina Liv Danielsen, along with photographer Thomas Hass, are there working for the Danish television network DK2. Earlier this week, they visited what remained of a small Northern California town ironically called Paradise. It wasn’t an easy assignment, one which takes an emotional as well as physical toll…

    Broadcast Journalism Update Celina Liv Danielsen

    Celina Liv Danielsen

    Karen Hua is also a NYFA graduate. She is reporter with the NBC TV station in the Southern California city of Bakersfield. While not threatened by fire — at least not yet — area residents have experienced the side effects of these blazes for months. Karen wrote earlier this week:

    “The fires in Southern California are relatively close to us in Bakersfield. We’re a 2-hour drive from the Ventura/Malibu area, and we’ve been covering them extensively…

    “Ultimately I’m okay, and everyone in Bakersfield is safe — there aren’t too many trees in our city to spread flames. However, we’ve seen toxic air quality and heat as a result of the fires around the state this year. This summer was terrible with the Carr, Medicino, and Ferguson Fires. There were days when the entire city was advised to stay indoors. But we are fortunate we are all safe.”

    Broadcast Journalism Update Karen Hua

    Karen Hua

    There are many ways to cover the same story. A digital producer/editor, working at ABC News headquarters in New York, created a powerful story for the ABC late night news program Nightline. The story, distributed over multiple platforms, captured the sheer terror of what is taking place…

    Broadcast Journalism Update

    Public Television took a somewhat different approach. Friend and former colleague Miles O’Brian was in California shooting material for an upcoming episode of the popular Nova science series. While his focus was on previous wildfires, he and his team found themselves in the middle of a new “mega-fire,” an event so large that it literally creates its own weather. Miles was interviewed  on the PBS NewsHour, for which I once produced.

    Broadcast Journalism Update

    As commentator Richard Reinhold noted earlier this year in TVNewsCheck, increasingly local TV news reporters are becoming “first responders,” often arriving on the scene of major events at the same time (or even before) police, fire, and emergency medical teams. 

    That’s why it is so important that we get the story right. People will act on the information we give them. We have to make sure it is accurate.

    Broadcast Journalism Update

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    November 16, 2018 • Broadcast Journalism, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1669

  • SnapChat Breaking News, NBC Bakersfield and More: Updates From New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    I have said before — and I’m about to say again — that I have “seen the future” of electronic journalism, and it is “on the phone.”
    The folks at NowThis were among the first companies to build a business on this realization. The notion began at the HuffPost, when that successful online publication decided to start producing full motion video. But it chose to emulate MSNBC’s liberal-chat format. (A decision that proved wrong…) That led a key member of the creative team to jump ship, and help create NowThis, which targets people who get their news on the phone.

    Last week Axios reported that NowThis is launching a breaking news channel on Snapchat. Why? Because, increasingly, people don’t view news “on the phone.” Rather, they view news via an app on their phone. And what better app to ally themselves with than Snapchat? It looks to be a very smart move…

    Meanwhile Ad Age, an old-style print magazine about the advertising industry that has reinvented itself as an online source of media information, reports that Google is stepping up its game when it comes to covering news. The Google Newsstand app is said to be on the way out, and a new app is on the way which will be faster and have more video content. Full-motion video is the “secret sauce” that attracts digital viewers. Printed pages with the occasional photo or graphic, not so much. This is why we teach NYFA Broadcast Journalism students to be multimedia Journalists (MMJs).
    The Poynter Institute is one of the leading journalism research institutes in the United States. A recent post had the headline, New York Times Co. is dipping a toe into television production. There are two fascinating aspects to this story. The first is that The Times is using digital platforms (podcasts, feature-style films) not to report the news, but to bolster their image as an outstanding source of unbiased reporting. They don’t see these efforts as potential profit centers as much as ways of shaping public perceptions about The Times. It is certainly not conventional television news.
    And that’s the second tantalizing aspect of the story. Unreported — and perhaps unknown to the reporter — was that The Times started a subsidiary to produce long-form TV news programming back in the 1990s. For a variety of reasons, it didn’t work out. Its founder, a long-time friend and former PBS colleague, would go on to do quite well sans The Times. You may have heard of a little thing he helped create called NY1?
    And speaking of news, we got some last week from NYFA graduate Karen Hua. She just got her first on-air reporting job:
    Some personal breaking news … In just two weeks, I’ll be starting as an on-air reporter for the NBC station in Bakersfield, California! Thank you to my mentors, teachers, and dearest friends for supporting and encouraging me this past year … ENDLESS thanks, Bill. Can’t say it enough —  literally would not be here without you, or Evgenia!  

    NYFA Broadcast Journalism alum Karen Hua.

    I should point out that Karen is a graduate of our 12-week Evening Broadcast Journalism program. Proof that, if you want to reinvent yourself while working a day job, learning key content creation skills can help you get to where you want to go. (In this case, Bakersfield, California … which I am confident is just the first step up the ladder, and back to NYC!)
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    May 7, 2018 • Academic Programs, Broadcast Journalism • Views: 1500