Feb. 7, 2019, e-Cursor: Drone, history projects win grants; Star apprentices soar; Loft series includes Tucson Citizen panel; see “Arizona Cat’s Eye.”
Clockwise, from top: Student Rocky Baier; Prof. Michael McKisson, Simon Asher ('18); Prof. Linda Lumsden.

Students can become drone pilots and create high-quality recordings for an oral history website, thanks to two engagement grants awarded to Professors Michael McKisson and Linda Lumsden.
The spring 2019 grants are funded by donor Al Litzow (left), a 1973 UA School of Journalism graduate.
McKisson received $2,500 to create an online training program to prepare students to pass the FAA drone pilot’s exam and understand the ethics of drone journalism. The program, set to launch in August, also will allow McKisson to buy a second drone for students to use.
“I wanted an easier way for students to get their pilot’s licenses so they can fly drones as journalists,” said McKisson, who renewed his license with the FAA after his initial two-year certification expired.
Students already are getting experience flying drones in classes and using drone footage in their multimedia projects, but they must have a licensed instructor such as McKisson present.

Earning a license would allow students to fly a drone on their own at an internship or job, making them more marketable when they graduate. The FAA requires a license for any operation that is commercial in nature – which includes journalism.
McKisson helped recent graduate Simon Asher earn his drone pilot’s license, but the grant will allow more students to learn how to pass the FAA exam than McKisson can accommodate through independent study sessions such as Asher's.
As students practice with McKisson, they will shoot video for a proposed UA School of Journalism stock footage site, available for purchase by media and independent filmmakers. The revenue from the stock footage site will help support the program and buy more equipment in the future.
Lumsden received $500 to expand and improve the Sonoran Desert Journalists website that she began with her American Press History class in 2017. The site features oral histories, photos and links to the work of 15 diverse journalists who work in the Borderlands.
This spring’s funding will let Lumsden buy two high-quality microphones for students in her class to use when interviewing 15 more local journalists. Each student will choose a journalist, set up the interview, record a 45- to 60-minute oral history, write a brief overview of the subject’s career, take a photograph and find links to the person’s work. 

“The journalists’ stories will amplify UA’s commitment to fostering diverse perspectives on campus, as will their samples,” Lumsden said. “The project also fosters community engagement and provides global exposure of the history of Tucson-area journalists.”
A three-member committee selected the winning proposals. The judges were Hipolito Corella of the Arizona Daily Star, Gail Godbey from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and J-school supporter Jane Swicegood.


Sunday, Feb. 17
Journalism on Screen, “The Post,” 2 p.m., and Q&A with First Amendment lawyer George Freeman, The Loft Cinema. Tickets.

Friday, March 15
Spring Internship Fair, all day, Marshall Building third floor.

Sunday, March 17
Journalism on Screen, “Witnesses to Democracy,” 2 p.m., and Q&A with Prof. Kim Newton, director Man-jin Kim and UA’s East Asian Studies, The Loft.

Sunday, April 7
Journalism on Screen, “State of Play,” 2 p.m., and Q&A to mark 10-year anniversary of Tucson Citizen’s closing, The Loft.

Wednesday, May 8
Just Desserts student awards ceremony, 4 p.m., Arizona Historical Society

   • Christianna Silva 
(’17, above) started a LGBTQ newsletter in New York. Read her Q&A with the Arizona Daily Wildcat's Jesse Tellez.
   • Rebecca Noble (’17) joined the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) News & Guide as a multimedia intern. She also is an associate member of American Reportage for 2019.
   • Natalie D'Anna (’16) is an assistant sports media relations manager at Loyola Marymount University in L.A. Bio
   • Read Bolles Fellow Jordan Williams’ 
first story on criminal sentencing, picked up by Arizona Capitol Times.
   • See photos of faculty and staff participating in a design sprint to plan for the J-school’s future.
   • Read a story about Prof. Mort Rosenblum’s first community class, “Keeping Tabs on a Mad World,” and see photos.
   • See photos of the J-school’s high school workshop in Mesa.  

   • Read student/alumni 
and faculty/staff kudos.
   • See e-Cursor archive.

Star apprentices
make mark early 

The school’s Arizona Daily Star spring apprentices wasted little time in getting published.

Master’s student Jasmine Demers, editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, had the cover story on local playwrights in the Jan. 24 Caliente section. 

The apprentice group includes (photo, from left) Ashley Fredde, adjunct instructor Sarah Gassen of the Star, David Martinez, Alex Munoz, Demers, Rob Kleifield and Dalal Radwan. Prof. Maggy Zanger teaches the apprentice class.

Radwan, a Fulbright scholar on the Star's digital desk, wrote about an Asian lantern festival and produced a video for the event.

Go to the school’s kudos web page to read more apprentice stories.

Loft series renews with 'Post' Feb. 17

The school will hold three Journalism on Screen films this spring: “The Post” on Feb. 17, “Witnesses to Democracy” on March 17 and “State of Play” on April 7.

Click here for info on the Sunday shows at 2 p.m. at The Loft Cinema.

Speakers include George Freeman, head of the Media Resources Law Center, on Feb. 17; and Prof. Kim Newton, film director Man-jin Kim and UA's East Asian Studies on March 17.

The April 7 event will mark the 10-year anniversary of the closing of the Tucson Citizen with a talk about community journalism with Citizen alums Jennifer Boice (moderator), Corky Simpson, Steve Rivera, Gabrielle Fimbres, Chuck Graham and Dylan Smith.

Students produce
2 'Cat's Eye' shows

Broadcast students finished work last semester on two “Arizona Cat’s Eye” episodes for Arizona Public Media.

The first news show 
featured anchors Lorren Walker (executive producer) and Alexis Whitaker and staffers Jazz Ramos, Eileen Kerrigan, Sierra Burk, Morgan Buttafuoco and Sienna Leone.

The second news show 
featured anchors Hector Ponce and Sascha Fruehauf; executive producer Carsyn Currier; and staffers Olivia Jackson, Micheal Romero, Lori Lipson and Ashley Agbede.

Prof. Rogelio Garcia and adjunct instructor 
Lorraine Rivera (AZPM) advised students on the shows. Read more about “Arizona Cat’s Eye” and the broadcast program in The Cursor magazine

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