Tag Archives: NPPA

Swain, NPPA Chapter Honored at Northern Short Course Event

NPPA student members and faculty sponsor Bethany Swain pose at the Northern Short Course event.

By: Susann Shinn

Student members of the University of Maryland’s chapter of the National Press Photographers Association joined national members at the Northern Short Course this past weekend. Over the course of these two days, UMD NPPA brought 12 students to Fairfax, Va., ranging from freshman to graduate students. The weekend’s agenda was filled with presentations from talented photojournalists, practical workshops and panels focused on visual journalism. Discussion topics ranged from covering the 2016 presidential campaign, balancing the relationship between photographers and editors and producing long-form passion projects.

In addition to all the scheduled events, the conference was a great networking opportunity. Students connected with various industry leaders, asking them questions and learning about their journey in the field of journalism. Bethany Swain's Award from NPPA.They also had the opportunity to have their work reviewed by these professionals during one-on-one meetings.

To end the workshop series, the Northern Short Course Awards ceremony took place Saturday night. Merrill College lecturer Bethany Swain was honored with the Robin R. Garland Educator Award, which her nominated her for outstanding service as a photojournalism mentor and educator.

Members of Swain’s Viewfinder capstone, which specializes in advanced video storytelling, were also honored with third place in the team multimedia category. Their reporting work from the fall 2016 semester on the heroin epidemic in Anne Arundel County competed against entries from professional publications such as Newsday and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


NPPA Honors ViewFinder, Swain

ViewFinder logo

(Adapted from an NPPA press release.)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Feb. 10) – The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) 2017 Northern Short Course Photo Contest winners were announced Thursday. Competing against professionals, the fall, 2016 ViewFinder team took third place in the “Team Multimedia” category for “Strength and Shame.”

On Vimeo, the series is explained this way:

“In June 2016, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, experienced one opioid overdose a day and a death a week. Just six months later, those numbers doubled. The Fall 2016 ViewFinder team of photojournalists traveled to Anne Arundel County to take an in-depth look at the opioid epidemic.We spoke to parents, children and community members who have been affected by this issue. Dealing with feelings of strength and shame aren’t easy—these stories give us a glimpse into the struggle these people face on a daily basis.”

The ViewFinder series is part of the University of Maryland PALS initiative.

Students involved with the production include: Hannah Burton ’17, Karen Castillo ’16, Ryan Eskalis ’16, Mya Green ’17, Mackenzie Happe ’17, Hannah Klarner (MJ ’17), Susann Shin ’17 and Alexandra Simon ’17.

In addition, Ricky Lasser ’16 took an honorable mention in the Longform Multimedia Individual category for “Forgiven.”

The Northern Short Course in Photojournalism, an annual NPPA event, will be held March 2-4 in Fairfax, Va. During the organization’s awards dinner on the 4th, Merrill College Lecturer Bethany Swain will be honored with the Robin F. Garland Educator Award for outstanding service as a photojournalism educator.

Portrait of Bethany Swain, Lecturer in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Holding a large video camera.   Faculty Q&A, TERP, Fall 2013.In a press release from Jan. 19, the NPPA said:

“Bethany Swain, a lecturer at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, has won the Robin F. Garland Educator Award for her dedication to her students, who have related about the breadth of professional knowledge she has shared with them. And not just from a technical perspective but also real “inside” advice and guidance about developing and maintaining relationships, both within the newsroom and with their subjects. She also done a wonderful job starting and advising Maryland’s very active and engaged NPPA student chapter, which is comprised primarily of students with a focus on broadcast photojournalism. The Garland Award is given for outstanding service as a photojournalism educator. Garland was a picture editor and war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post until he joined Graflex Inc. as press technical representative after World War II. Later he became a press photography product specialist for Eastman Kodak Co.”

Schweich Wins NPPF Scholarship

– Adapted from an NPPF Press Release:

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Merrill Journalist Emily Schweich is the winner of the National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF) TV News Scholarship. Schweich – a junior broadcast major – is one of seven college students selected by the NPPF to receive the $2,000 scholarships. “I’m very honored and excited to be recognized by this prestigious organization,” said Schweich.

Currently the president of the Society of Professional Journalists student chapter, Schweich also works as a multimedia reporter for The Diamondback, the University of Maryland’s independent daily student newspaper.  She has had a love for storytelling from an early age. Her ultimate goal is to “become a news anchor and give a voice to the voiceless through journalism, focusing special attention to issues impacting women, such as gender-based violence and poverty and fair treatment in the workplace.”

Read her Bio here.

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NPPA Short Course: Real World Advice Makes Better Journalists

150314_NPPA NSC_13wBy Victoria Tanner ’16

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Press Photographers Association Northern Short Course (NSC) was more than inspiring. Speakers sat in the front of long rooms with rows of journalists in front of them. Everyone is listening attentively. And everyone is taking notes. Videos are playing in one room while two doors down, still photographs are projected onto the screen. The workshops featured journalists who spoke from real world experience; they weren’t lecturing us on theories, they were giving us real world advice to make us better journalists.

Some of the pieces caused me to tear up including Scott Strazzante’s Common Ground and a video by John Kirtley. The work I saw at the NSC reminded me why I want to enter the world of journalism in the first place. I want to tell stories in a way that causes people to think and react. I believe many of the sessions I attended taught me lessons that can also be used in writing. As a multiplatform student, I was hesitant about not having broadcast experience, but I realized many of the things NSC speakers emphasized can be used across all mediums. NSC reignited the spark inside me to pursue photojournalism.

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NPPA Workshop: “Give Us a Week and We’ll Change Your Life.”

Merrill Students who attended the NPPA News Video Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma included (Left to Right) Brandi Vincent, Brianna Hurwitz, Alanna Delfino, Brett Hall and Taylor Cairns.

Merrill Students who attended the NPPA News Video Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma included (Left to Right) Brandi Vincent, Brianna Hurwitz, Alanna Delfino, Brett Hall and Taylor Cairns.

“Give us a week and we’ll change your life.”

These are the words that were promised to each of the participants attending the 55th NV workshop. It’s a week designed to squash old habits and start a life of storytelling with a clean palette. So, did this video workshop change my life? Yes, and it was epic.

I have been planning for this trip for over a year. When I was a junior, taking 262 with Instructor Bethany Swain, I remember asking her, “How did you get so good?” She said that when she went to this workshop in college. After that, I knew I just had to go. In 2013, I helped launch our UMD NPPA student chapter and have been planning for this trip ever since.

This trip is not your typical spring break. I mean, there was certainly no beach and Norman Oklahoma isn’t exactly paradise. Luckily, I was able to take this trip with a few of my Merrill College friends: Graduate student Brandi Vincent and undergraduate students Taylor Cairns, Brett Hall and Brianna Hurwitz.

We began our week with an introduction to the faculty. Let me rephrase that: We were introduced to the most talented photojournalists and multimedia journalists in the country. Most of the faculty members are people I’ve learned about in Al Tompkin’s Aim for the Heart, which is the main book we are required to read in most of our Merrill College broadcast classes.  Some of the team included: Julie Jones, Adam Vance, Stan Heist, Dave Wertheimer, Greg Vandergrift, Les Rose, Matt Mrozinski, Josh Maranhas, Joe Mahoney, Joe Little, Michelle Michael, John Larson, Steve Hooker, Evelio Contreras, Lisa Berglund, John Sharify, Brett Akagi and Sharon Levy. Like I said, talented.

On Monday morning, we were assigned to our “room moms.” Our instructors were there to teach and give us feedback on assignments. My instructor was KGTV’s 10news reporter, Joe Little. This must have been fate because if you have ever taken a class with instructor Swain, then you would know that she incorporates Joe Little stand-up examples into her lectures. Joe really took me under his wing. He watched my resume reel, gave me advice on jobs and answered all of my questions. Looking back on my time in 262 that summer, I would have never thought that I would become so close with someone I had come to admire so much.

IMG_3718Outside of class time, we saw multiple presentations. We got to watch incredible work and learn the tricks of the trade. One of my favorite presentations was with CBS photojournalist, Les Rose. If that doesn’t ring a bell, then maybe I should tell you that he’s also Steve Hartman’s photojournalist for the series, On the Road with Steve Hartman. Les showed some of his favorite stories, but most importantly, he shed a light on what it’s like to love what you do for a living. Les emphasized the power storytellers have by saying, “We are the merchant of moments.”

The week was long, tiring, stressful, inspiring and fabulous all mixed into one. We were on assignments everyday, consumed in one-on-one critiques with professionals and tediously working late hours in the lab at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism. The critiques were intense. There is no way to prepare for critiques with professionals. Each person ripped apart every single one of my stories. This may sound crazy, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I can now take this feedback and apply the advice to my next story. After all, we are here to learn and improve. Yet, even with all the work, the entire team got to enjoy one last final hurrah on Thursday night. Yes, karaoke was involved.

This workshop impacted me in many different ways. It re-ignited my storytelling fire, inspired me to improve my skills and helped me to confirm that being an MMJ is exactly what I am meant to do. To say this workshop has changed my life is a really big claim. Yet, I think I speak for every NPPA Norman workshop alumni when I say that I have left this workshop a better version of myself and that has got to be the greatest story of all.