Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TV news programs around the world have changed the way they operate. Our own NYFA News is no exception. All NYFA classes have moved online. Plus, our student producers/reporters face the challenge of creating a news program while everyone in New York is encouraged to stay at home, and all of us are expected to maintain “social distancing.”
This makes their accomplishments especially impressive, as they have found innovative ways to produce solid, information-based stories. They are also shooting entirely on-location, transforming NYFA News into a reporter-driven program.
The skills NYFA students learn can take them in a number of different directions. For Grace Shao, that includes time spent reporting for China Global Television Network (CGTN). She then joined CNBC, based in their Singapore bureau. She is now a media consultant and creative director for PayPal’s podcast series focusing on business innovation in the Asia Pacific region. She is also the Hong Kong Chapter Lead for SoGal, the largest global platform for the education and empowerment of diverse entrepreneurs and investors. (You can read more about SoGal’s mission in the New York Times.)
If you live in or visit Stockholm, you’ve probably heard the voice of NYFA grad Emilie Olsson, a radio news anchor for Bauer Media, so it’s probably not surprising that she explored the relatively new field of podcasting. She created Älskade Psykopat (Beloved Psychopath).
When asked about the podcast, Emilie says,”in the podcast we meet men and women who anonymously tell their story or experiences they’ve had with a psychopath or narcissist. It could be in a love relationship, family or at work. Here, real stories are highlighted that rarely can otherwise take place, and my hope is that the podcast will help, support and change!”
She was also recently featured on the TV4 morning show in Stockholm. Congratulations Emilie!
Imorse vad jag med i Nyhetsmorgon och berättade om min podd "Älskade Psykopat" som släpptes förra veckan! 🙂 I podden möter vi män och kvinnor som anonymt berättar sin historia eller erfarenheter de haft med en psykopat eller narcissist! Det kan vara inom en kärleksrelation, familjen och på jobbet. Här lyfts verkliga berättelser fram som sällan annars får ta plats och min förhoppning är att podden ska hjälpa, stötta och förändra! I veckans poddavsnitt möter vi Relationsexperten Michael Larsen som berättar mer om det här viktiga ämnet! Hela tv-inslaget finns att se här: https://www.tv4.se/nyhetsmorgon/klipp/att-dejta-en-psykopat-saknar-empati-12603932
It is always exciting when the paths of two NYFA grads cross. Bryanna (“Red Carpet”) Reynolds moved from Melbourne to Los Angeles last year. And while LA is a big place, she found herself interviewing fellow Broadcast Journalism alum Alisa Arvind. Alisa, now a published author, is using the communication skills she developed at NYFA as a life coach and motivational speaker.
This week we began offering a 4-Week Online Broadcast Journalism workshop. There are people around the world who want to study at NYFA. But for many, travel isn’t currently an option. Others need to stick close to home because of family commitments and work. Now there is a 4-Week Broadcast Journalism Workshop for them too.
One topic that goes around-and-around-and-around here in the United States is the toxic relationship between the administration of President Donald Trump and the American news media. I normally don’t include items on this subject, as they would crowd out everything else. But this week I am making an exception…
ABC News is launching a new digital program called “Briefing Room.” It is a response to the Trump Administration’s decisions to hold daily audio-only press briefings off-camera, or invitation-only office briefings, or no briefings at all. The show will stream live on ABCNews.com and the ABC News YouTube and Facebook pages. So even when the White House restricts access, or refuses to even hold formal briefings, there will be a “briefing” none-the-less.
NBC News is gearing up a new digital daily news program called “Stay Tuned” that will be distributed via Snapchat’s Discover platform. Aimed squarely at folks who get their news on the phone, this four-minute program will air twice a day on weekdays, and once on weekends. Media reports say it will have a staff of 30, which makes it a substantial undertaking.
Note that I saw this story on Refinery 29, another example of a platform where all different types of content are gathered. The pop-up ad on the page I grabbed had an ad for Nordstrom, which is an upmarket department store. (It was a fluke … I’m not really all that fashionable.)
As my current and former students know, I love a good graphic. So, staying with the theme of digital distribution, Bloomberg has been working to speed up load times for its content. (Because a slow load often translates into a bored viewer leaving a site and looking for something else.) Note the graphic that accompanied an article on the subject in Digiday. Those of you of a certain age will recognize the American cartoon character Wile E. Coyote. Even if you don’t know the cultural context, it is still funny. (Isn’t it?) But if you do know, it says a lot about how even a generally straight-ahead news publisher sometimes decides to have some fun.
I got so much feedback from the NYFA Viewbook galley proof I posted last week that I decided it made sense to post another. Current students and alumni will recognize the studio we use to produce “NYFA News.” We employ a green screen effect to insert the co-anchors into a “virtual set'” which is made up of only zeros and ones, but looks like a network control room. The two co-anchors come from Brooklyn and Kunming (China).
NYFA grad Daniel Fideli is hard at work back home in Brazil, where he is working with the sports channel SPORTV. (The channel is owned by the Brazilian media giant Globo.) Daniel holds a special place in NYFA broadcast journalism history, thanks to an epic journey he and a classmate took through the New York subway system in order to retrace the footsteps of the heroes of the 1970s cult movie “The Warriors.” (The film takes place in a dystopian New York at some point in the not-so-distant future: 2016.) It was one of the most unique student projects I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of student projects.
Former NYFA student Linda Zhang had the lead story recently on KION News in California. The station broadcasts to two separate cities on two different channels. (Plus cable, of course.) The story is about a seaside community where the beach sand was literally being “mined,” then sold. An agreement has been reached to end the mining, and save the beach.
Nice work, Linda. And working “on deadline” too!
And we end with a “postcard” from NYFA instructor Zack Baddorf, currently on sabbatical in the Central African Republic. For 90 seconds, join him as he goes “Flying Down the Chinko” in an ultralight aircraft.
Soon you will be seeing Hollywood stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone on NYFA News as part ofa wonderful story that recent New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism alumna Federica Polidoro produced for us at the Venice Film Festival. NYFA News is a student-produced TV news magazine in which Federica also covered two previous Venice Film Festival stories where NYFA showcased five student films.
With the Venice Film Festival behind her, we thought we’d catch up with the Italian journalist, who is now back in her hometown of Rome working with XL La Repubblica.
Can you tell us what drew you to the field of broadcast journalism?
I am an entertainment journalist in Italy. I used to be a reporter for film festivals for the last 10 years, interviewing celebrities — especially directors. I began to produce videos on my own, but I wanted to refine my knowledge in this particular field and try to get some chances abroad.
What made you decide to attend the New York Film Academy?
Everything in Italy is very theoretical, so I needed some hands-on experience. Studying in New York was my lifetime dream. I couldn’t afford the fee, so I finally applied for a European Union scholarship and I won it.
How would you describe your experience in the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program?
New York Film Academy is the most wonderful academic experience I’ve ever had. In Italy, I taught Editing Technics at the Fine Art Academy, so this is an opinion also as a professor. I think NYFA is a school that you could only imagine in your dreams. The building is terrific, the equipment is tremendous, professors are incredible people and the tasks are so exciting.
With [Broadcast Journalism Chair] Bill Einreinhofer, I found the kind of mentor that you can only get in a movie. He’s a very inspiring person, quiet yet powerful. He is a great example of an educator for me, and it was a privilege to meet him on the path of my life. His generosity and sensibility, honesty and open-mindedness, his precious advice, and his guidance are a treasure for me. He let me express my creativity by pushing the bounds of my intellectual curiosity. He gave me the self-confidence to believe that I was in the right place in the right time and that I can do it. Even if it is a school and not real life, as he reminded us often, his support meant a lot to me. His name was my first reason to opt for NYFA, and it was my best decision. My satisfaction with Bill’s appreciation of my work is priceless.
I can sum up my feelings about the New York Film Academy with one word: happiness.
How was your experience covering the Venice Film Festival for NYFA News?
I worked for the biggest newspapers, magazines and platforms in Italy — especially for web content — but I could not believe I had the chance to produce something for NYFA on my own.
What have you been working on since graduating?
I am currently working on the second phase of the scholarship with a six months internship for the biggest Italian Newspaper, La Repubblica. I will likely continue to produce and edit video for them as a freelancer, but I am submitting some projects to show to other satellite and web channels with a more dynamic approach — a place where I can create “long-lasting” content.
So are you working primarily in Italy now?
I’m working in Italy, but very open to working for the US from European Festivals and for Italy / Foreign Countries from the US as entertainment content creator. I am going to launch my website with a showreel and a catalog of all my previous work. Among my interviews are artists such as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Amos Gitai, Andrei Konchalovski, Andrew Niccol, Anton Corbjn, Asghar Farhadi (Oscar®), Atom Egoyan, Charlie Kaufman (Oscar®), Ethan Hawke, François Ozon, Gabriele Salvatores, Giuseppe Tornatore, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Jeremy Irons, Jerzy Skolimoski, Kim Ki Duk, Kirill Serebrennikov, Lav Diaz, Marco Bellocchio, Mike Leigh, Olga Kurilyenko, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Valeria Golino, Wash Westmoreland, William Dafoe, Wim Wenders, Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Is there an assignment or story that you’re most proud of?
My last day in Venice, after 14 interviews, my last interview was with Lav Diaz. He won the Golden Lion, so XL Repubblica got the interview ready while he was receiving the award. After Venice I interviewed the Golden Palm Winner, Ken Loach, for the Italian premier of “I, Daniel Blake.” I edited part of this work for NYFA, too.
This season I am working on Award Season with written pieces and on editing videos on the themes of “Toys in Christmas Movies,” on Rube Goldberg machines in cartoons, and on movies set in hospitals and asylums to prepare for the release of Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure for Wellness.”
I am managing the trip to the Cannes Film Festival and sending projects to find enough sponsors, and more than one media coverage, so that it’s useful to get more interviews and a better accreditation.
For me it is quite easy to find a job, since I am a very hard worker, but I am looking for the kind of job and creative space where I can do something unique and personal.
What do you hope to achieve in your career as a journalist?
I am a storyteller, a content creator, an investigator, a talent scout, and a wacky Italian with the obsession for weird stuff. I am a dreamer, but I am also a problem solver. There is nothing impossible for me. As a journalist I would like to express my own personality, get in depth subjects with anthropological analysis and humor, telling them with ethics and poetically. I would like to show different ways to read the contemporary phenomena delivering stories with visual appeal, originality, but simple language and profound meaning. Stories useful for the soul, pleasant for the ears, spectacular for the eyes.
I would like to get work experience in the US for a short amount of time — maybe one year — to get in touch directly with the industry. I would like to do the job I did for the last ten years, traveling around the world looking for untold stories. I would like to be myself, but better, bigger and cooler. And maybe, once in my life, cover The Golden Globes and The Oscars.