Journalism practice at Newsy


 is a place that makes me feel real world practice in journalism. I met Jim, Christina and Megan last semester at a journalism students’ network meeting. They are amazingly nice people and introduced me to the company. I started to write story scripts, shadowing Una, who became the manager of Newsychina later on. She had this great idea to produce stories in Chinese and promote Newsy to Chinese-speaking audience, which is a huge market.

We encountered difficulties in terms of entering Chinese market due to the regulation. We began to upload videos on Youtube, but the problem is that Youtube is blocked in China either. This Saturday marks the first day when Newsychina program first reaches Chinese audience: four news stories are uploaded on Youku, which is a Chinese version Youtube, I would say. We didn’t get the chance to do it because it only works in PC, but we use Mac at Newsy. Therefore, I bring the videos to my computer and upload them to Youku. Now they are viewed by Chinese audience, which makes me excited to think about.

I appreciate our talented producer Fiona. During the summer break, we are short of staff, and there would be no way for us to make it without your great efforts and dedication, which are beyond description.

Link to Youku:


Newsy China


VOICES— Looks like I will be in Detroit this Summer!

Some good news came to Michelle:) I am admitted to the 2011 Voices program of Asian American Journalism Association (AAJA).

I met the President of AAJA when i was in Pheonix, Ariz., for the ACES National Conference. I asked her if there would be any way for me to participate in AAJA, and she suggested me to apply for this student program. I went through the required materials for application and prepared. At first I really didn’t expect to be accepted because I heard that the program would be “highly competitive.” There seemed to be a long list for the required materials, and they expect me to submit three work samples from three different areas (eg: print, online, broadcast, etc.) However, I had trouble to submit a sample of broadcast, which is my favorite area as well as my sequence at J-school. I wished to submit the Newsy China story, which I anchored and wrote at Newsy. However, the Newsy China program was not fully developed yet so my video was not online. In addition, I had to respect the company’s policy so I didn’t want to copy my video for personal use before publication. With the above concern, I didn’t think I could make it. However, I was lucky because Newsy decided to upload the videos online then. Therefore, I ended up with three good samples to submit and I got the congratulations from the committee! It made my day!

For my application essay, I wrote an essay titled “My Cross Cultural Backgrounds in Journalism,” which explains my passion in Journalistic field, my journalism work experience, yearlong job as a liaison between Columbia and its sister city in China, and my potential contribution to the Voices project with my upbringing in China and journalism education in U.S. I believe that this student program will offer a platform for people from different backgrounds to communicate. Journalism is a discourse focused around different cultures, and this is especially a significant feature for the AAJA community.

Like I wrote in my application essay, “the journalistic successes motivated me to dedicate myself to every chance that would upgrade my professional knowledge, especially this incredible opportunity to professional train and network. ” We are supposed to have the opportunity for building up journalistic skills through training, working with professional journalists, making our own assignments and developing our portfolios. Now I start contacting my editor from this project and setting up pre-conventions training.  Also, the selected student finalists are friending each other on Facebook. I think it’s pretty cool to meet so many people who share the same dream in Journalism. I really look forward to the trip and convention in Detroit, MI!


Link to AAJA Voice Program


Columbia teenagers go volunteer

Columbia young volunteers of the Youth in Action Program make snacks for residents from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 16, 2011, at Ronald McDonald House.
Bo Blomenkamp,12, a 7th-grade student at Gentry Middle School, attends his first volunteer event this summer. “I like to help people who cannot help themselves. That’s the main reason for me to be here,” Blomenkamp said. He has signed up for eight different Youth in Action events.
Youth in Action organizes various volunteer opportunities, including family fest, farmers’ market, arts and craft, for teenagers to help people in need, make friends and contribute to the community.







Try to write blog on my iPhone

Now I’m having my j2150 class, and today’s idea is about Mobile Journalism. We all have access to smart phones, and for those who don’t, Steve checks iPhones from the library for them. We’ve learned a lot about the important role of citizen journalism in today’s journalistic world. People, not only professional reporters but also the public, report via Facebook, twitter, smart phones and cheap digital cameras everyday. I would say, this is a trend of modern journalism. It’s cool to learn the up- to- date skills in J-school.




A story of my project subject

My story pitch is to give voice to people with disabilities.  My subject is Jason, the president of People First of Boone County, which is a self-advocacy organization that helps people with developmental disabilities.  I photographed him when they were holding a fundraising event through car washing last Saturday at a gas station. Through interviewing and talking with Jason, I understand one of the main focuses of their community is that we are all the same, either with or without disabilities. The fundraising event would enable the People First to support themselves, sponsoring them to have more events to advocate themselves against discrimination.

Jason has been involved in People First from 2000, and he is playing an active role in public education on treating people with disabilities equally. He has been involved in getting rid of the “R” word and rights advocacy. Jason has also been contributing to the interests of their community such as rights, education, raising social awareness and board member election.

“What I do is treating all the members as a family. I’m just part of that family. I treat everybody with same dignity and respect. When they have problems, they would come to me because I listen to them, and maybe I can help. I’m no difference, and no one is special. I’m just Jason.–Jason

Diving into the world of photojournalism

I learned a lot from viewing photos from my classmates, especially through learning from the comments, critiques and feedbacks from Steve and the class. I was kind of nervous before my assignment showed up on the screen. However, I think it looked nice when it showed up. I was satisfied with the composition and the meaning of the photo, and I think Steve did, too. He helped me with editing to enhance the photo by highlighting certain parts. Then I got a basic understanding of what should do and what shouldn’t do when journalists edit photos. We can adjust the photo based on what our eyes have seen; otherwise, we can’t alter the color, shape, composition, etc. When one of my best friends heard that I’m using Photoshop Elements in class, she was very happy because she thought I could help her edit and beautify her photos. I told her that I cannot because those tools for alteration were said to be prohibited for photojournalism at the beginning of the class.

The lecture of ethical dilemma left me in a mood of depression. I guess it was because most of the photos showed were so sad. If we forget about the ethical dilemma, then I would say, those photos work in terms of touching people with emotion (otherwise I wouldn’t be so sad after class). However, one thing came to my mind was that as journalists, we are not supposed to use others’ tragic experiences and make our audience cry. It would be nice if we combine human interests in our stories or photos, but we cannot scarify “humanity” merely for “human interests.” They subjects we capture are human beings. They have minds and soul, and they have feelings. I will always remember one of the most important codes for photojournalism: Treating the subjects with respects. It was a serious lecture, and it made me think a lot.

I hope National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics would inspire you and help you make ethical decisions:

My first weekend at the summer school

J2150 is a practical course to train journalism students with multimedia skills. Many students, including me, chose journalism as their major because they love writing, reading and reporting. However, writing and reporting skills are not enough for today’s journalism. With such an intensive training during the 7 weeks, I expect to be a tech-savvy journalism student. It makes me feel good to think that I will not feel confused about the basic techniques anymore when I need to do a multimedia story after this summer course.

When I took pictures with the D7000 camera rented from the library, I didn’t feel as nervous as I thought I would be. Photography is such a practical discipline that you could not learn it merely through reading the instructions. Taking the same pictures with different setting up was a lot of fun and really helped. For the Seeing Red assignment, I took pictures in the afternoon when the sunlight was not too strong. I wanted to take some pictures of sunrise, but it was raining that morning. Lucky me, I finished three photos before for unexpected circumstances like this.

For my story ideas, I was kind of nervous to be the first student to present it in class. Steve asked me detailed questions to make sure that the pitch would be done successfully. I was glad that my subject is so helpful and willing to talk about his experience. I called him several times and explained that I need to film and interview him several times. He agreed without hesitation. I really wish my project could give them voice, which is one of the duties for journalists.

I’m thinking of some multimedia journalistic stories to share with the class and I suddenly feel that my video could be an interesting example! I anchor for a Chinese project at, and the mission of Newsy is to tell a story with multiplesources and in multimedia format. I attached the link to the English story after the my first Chinese version.