Join me for my very last video on this site.
It has been nine months since I started working for AccessLocal.TV, and along the way I learned so many things about the community, and the workforce. Between my first and second term, we began working on a project outside of AccessLocal.TV.
We partnered with Neighborworks to produce a series of videos called Know Your Farmers, Know Your Foods. Over the spring and into the summer we worked on this project, traveling to various farms and asking the farmers a variety of questions.
In July, my team and I took a trip to San Jose to cover the Summer Transportation Institute. This was a summer program held at San Jose State University, in which students attending the program got college credits for the classes they took. We got to tour San Jose state, as well as go to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Our last trip was the Free Our Dreams event held at UC Davis. We went to workshops, danced, and played games. However, the most important thing we did during our trips was our jobs: interviews, photography, and videography.
The best advice I could give to new coming arrivals is always get your work in on time. Make sure you get interviews to give your article or video soul, and don’t be afraid. The more confidence you have in yourself the easier the job becomes; the easier it is to get interviews and the easier it is to get interesting shots.
Between May 6th and 8th, Sacramento was once again was the host of the #freeourdreams Youth Conference. Formerly known as Sisters and Brothers at the Capitol, the event’s name was changed to Free Our Dreams and has become an annual event which is organized by PolicyLink and Movement Strategy Center. Over 250 youth stormed upon the California State Capitol to hold over 100 legislative visits with lawmakers. Topics of interest for discussion included issues about health, safety, and the future success of young people.
The overall purpose of Free Our Dreams is to make sure that the power of the youth voice is one that is strong and to use that power to help change and advance policies and narratives that affect the neighborhoods of the youth by organizing a statewide effort at the State Capitol.
Youth were transported by bus from cities all over California from places like Bakersfield, San Diego, Stockton, Los Angeles and more. Participants were asked to spread the word and to hashtag #freeourdreams on social media accounts. They went to workshops to learn more about the planned march, social injustices and how they can help to overcome them. They took part in legislative training and preparation for their visits At the end of the first full day of events was a “Block Party” where the participants made their own signs for the march and rally, took advantage of a photo booth and got involved in other art and craft activities.
May 8th was the day that the participants were preparing for. The youth boarded their buses and traveled to the capitol with their signs and banners, displaying #freeourdreams. Participants lined up and began to march around the capitol before heading to the Sacramento California Endowment office where they would finish by hearing speeches from senators and youth participants. From there, the legislative visits began. Youth from Bakersfield-based South Kern Sol spoke on SB 68, a senate bill that extends in-state tuition for undocumented students at CSUs and community colleges. They met Ellen Cesaretti, a representative for Assemblymember Dante Acosta. They also spoke about SB 607 which aims to end suspensions for willful defiance.
“At first I felt really thrilled and then I became nervous,” said Jocelyn Cuevas, a participant with South Kern Sol. “I knew I had to be outside my shell.”
After a long weekend of preparation and work, the legislative visits concluded and the participants returned home in their buses. For many participants, the Free Our Dreams event was a fun and unique experience.
“I was sad when it was done,” said Nichole Castillo, a youth participant with Mid-City CAN. “It was a really great and fun opportunity. I got to meet and bond with other sites. I wasn’t ready to go back home. Not yet.”
Ever since I started working for AccessLocal.TV as a Neighborhood News Correspondent, I began to see and overcome obstacles that would have definitely slowed me down in life. I have learned technical skills, personal skills, and workforce skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Using a video editor was not new to me, but I’ve never worked with the equipment that AccessLocal.TV provided us. I find it important to be well versed in technological know-how, and in my opinion, the more equipment you become familiar with, the better.
Working with the iPod and iMovie was interesting, and a lot simpler than the equipment I worked with in the past. It produced good footage, and the videos were easy enough to make. My first introductional video is amateurish, going back and watching it now. Comparing it to my latest video about Yisrael Farms is a huge difference. I can see major growth from then to now, and it makes me happy to know that my skills have improved so much within a few months.
Aside from the technical knowledge I’ve gained, I also learned a great deal in talking with people. I wouldn’t say I was shy, but I was definitely more reserved. It was difficult for me to walk up to people and ask for interviews. But, of course, working as a reporter, I had to get over that quickly. I started talking to people at events I went to so I could get used to just talking. After a chat, I’d ask them for an interview. Now I feel I have become a better conversationalist, and I’ve been applying my skills to my work as well as personal life.
Towards the beginning months, I had feared “getting in the way” of people. I didn’t like taking shots in front of crowds and during meetings or lectures because I feared I was being intrusive or disruptive. It didn’t take long for my boss, Isaac, to notice this, and he and my co-workers gave me reassurance in my ability, and in my press-pass to get the shots I wanted.
Working for AccessLocal.TV news has been an overall wonderful experience. Although I had a rocky start, my skills improved with the help of my boss and co-workers. I cannot thank them enough for all I have learned from them. I feel more confident as a worker, and as a person, and I owe it all to AccessLocal.TV, and the wonderful people working for it.
AccessLocal proved to be a much richer and more multifaceted experience than the simple news job I took it for at first. I learned this at our first meeting, when instead of stepping into the sophisticated and austere television studio I was interviewed in, I found myself sitting at a table of journalists my age with EDM playing in the background. This environment wasn’t to be mistaken as lax, I quickly learned, but rather a professional environment for a discussion designed to make the news correspondents feel at ease enough to discuss stories and relevant topics comfortably as they would outside of a ‘job’. My wonderful boss, Isaac Gonzalez, led the assignment sections and relevant discussions with a calm tone, maintaining the balance between professional and colloquial.
The first project alone sent me into the deep end of filming, editing and writing an article on a deadline with only the bare essential tools to guide me: a short tutorial video playlist for filming, iMovie and basic journalism tactics, an iPod touch equipped with iMovie, and a microphone and camera attachments to make a viable filming device. The prompt was simply: what is your community?
While I was pleased with the result, the process of making the video was a complete disaster. I spent half a day figuring out iMovie and planning the clip arrangements for the final product. I submitted my report right on the nose of the deadline and wished I had more of a plan going into the project to better know what I was doing.
These steps were absolutely critical to my progress as a Neighborhood News Correspondent. I learned more from arranging my friends to talk about what they thought about our community and the first 30 minutes of tampering with iMovie than I did in the whole hour of tutorial videos that were the entirety of my education in journalism.
I’m beyond grateful for the independent and self-reliant method of learning that Isaac and AccessLocal based the program on. In four months I’ve gone to city hall meetings, an art exhibition and an art workshop, a protest at the state capital, and even a gun show where I pressed tough questions to a reclusive and closed audience. If the program would have spent all that time on the textbook approach of teaching me how to film, how not to film, who to film, what to focus on and so on, I would never have really learned how to film in the way I did. I picked all of these skills up through doing the work assigned to me, and Isaac was always there to give advice and strategies if I was unsure. I now know how to cover stories confidently and have months of experience doing so. The paychecks were gravy on top of what I’ve gained from all of this.
I could not recommend AccessLocal more to anyone interested in journalism, writing, filming, debate or even public-speaking. Whether or not I choose to pursue journalism as a career, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I was provided and the valuable, interdisciplinary skills I gained. I would like to thank my coworkers: the outgoing and amiable Levi Harvey, the quietly confident and ever-friendly Ivan Caballero, the understated and brilliant Dominique Mejia, the bold, hilarious and completely unique Bruce Tran, and most of all my boss, the attentive, caring, engaging and one-of-a-kind Isaac Gonzalez. I would also like to thank Gary Martin from our parent company for seeing something to let me into this amazing program. Good luck future Neighborhood News Correspondents!
For the past few months I’ve been working for Access local.TV as a neighborhood news correspondent. Although the experience was short lived, I can certainly say that the skills that I’ve gained from working here and the people I’ve met have really helped me to branch out my abilities as a content creator.
Prior to my time here I had no real world experience as a journalist outside of school. I was very shy to simply show up to a place or an event as part of the media. I wasn’t comfortable with capturing footage or photography of the event and interviewing key participants in the story. But since working as a journalist for access local, I’ve become incredibly more comfortable with being on the scene and more confident as a journalist. On top of that I’ve also written many articles and have continued to do what it is that I do best, which is producing and editing videos.
Some of my favorite articles that I’ve written the past couple of months are the Boys and Men of Color, RYSE: Film Festival, and my personal thoughts on what’s important about voting to name a few. These were important to me because it felt great to write about something of real significance in my community. Being able to learn how to strengthen my writing skills as I produced these articles was a great lesson for me.
Although I still have much to master in the realm of writing, just being able to say that I have experience in journalism is important to me and to my resume. As for any advice that I would give to any future neighborhood news correspondents, I would say to always give your best effort in every written work or video made, as each piece reflects who you are as a creator or as a digital media producer.
My name is Ivan Caballero. I’m 17 years old and I’ve been working with Accesslocal.tv since July 2015. That’s more than a year. It’s been a long time; but with a lot of time, comes a lot of experience. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Isaac Gonzalez and the rest of the team. Prior to working here, my knowledge of writing was fairly limited. I am still not the best writer in the world but I am certain that I’m much better than I was before.
Looking back, checking out my very first article, I feel that I havegreatly improved my writing skills My speed and how I write my articles has progressed all thanks to this program. It’s become something that I actually love to do. As I have said in past articles about myself, I have had tremendous pressure from my family put on me. This job has given me the courage to show to everyone who doubted me that maybe I can pull off my dreams.
It’s a great feeling to be able to do better than what people expected of me. This is just the beginning. Accesslocal.tv has built me a step on the staircase of my dream. I feel that I must continue to pursue this career of journalism that I have so greatly come to love.
Working with this team of people has been a blast. They’re a very sophisticated and nice group of people. They’ve taught me a lot in the time I’ve worked here, mainly by guiding me morally. I’ve developed a very strong relationship with them and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do so.
This work has allowed me to gain a sense of confidence that I never thought that I’d have. This work has changed me in so many ways, but it’s all for the better. I feel like I have become an independent young man who is now so much more aware of the real world.
My favorite article though from all this time still is one of my early ones. It’s my report on Donald Trump’s deportation plan. In that article I explained the specifics of the situations on a medical level, such as how this would affect the local area of Sacramento medically. It was basically a short summary on how Donald Trump’s deportation plan would make Sacramento sick because illegal immigrants would fear going to hospitals to avoid being deported. Immigrants not being able to go to the hospital could lead to widespread illnesses being spread. Coming from a Mexican family that has witnessed the horrors of when it comes to deportation, I can see why my family and other would be afraid to go to the hospital and avoid deportation.
The advice that I would give to future participants is pretty simple- Just relax. Don’t stress yourself too hard, you’re going to be fine. I know most people are very weary of scoring interviews with people but believe me, you got it. Just ask. If they say no, then they say no. If they say yes, you got yourself an interview! Now before going out to ask someone for an interview, it’s a good idea to at least have written down an idea of what you want to ask.
When you’re out making a video, take more footage than you need! If you think you have enough, you don’t. Take more! This has always been a common problem with me that I take way less footage than I need, thus making me work harder while editing. It’s best to work hard on the spot to make your work easier later. Take lots of pictures as well. Pictures make for a great showcase in your articles and videos. So get snapping.
You must have fun. There’s no point of doing a job if you don’t have fun, besides paying bills of course. Even when you’re finding it really hard to make a video or write an article, just keep your head up. Don’t be like me who stresses too much and ends up messing something up. Take your assignments as an adventure and not like a chore. Go out and explore your adventure.
Finally, this job has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. It has given me a clear headed view of what I really want to do with my life. I hope that I can continue to move and pursue this career further. I would like to thanks Isaac (my boss) for giving me the amazing opportunity to work with him and the program. I consider Isaac as a father figure of mine that I can look up to. That for me is a great feeling. This program has given me something that nothing else has; and that’s the knowledge that I will carry for the rest of my life.
This past summer I started as a Neighborhood News Correspondent at Access Sacramento. This experience has been so amazing. Although I did already have past experience working in news, most of my days played out as an intern running scripts and sitting answering phones at a desk and keeping up with social media. My experience here I will cherish forever because it gave me hands on experience in my dream career of being a reporter. This experience allowed me to engage the community and help tell positive stories in Sacramento County. I wrote, interviewed, shot, edited, and produced all of my stories these are valuable skills that I will be able to use anywhere in this industry. The stories that I found to be some of my favorite stories to cover would have to be the B.M.O.C event, Oak Park Gardens, Oak Park Cleanup, and stories of communities coming together to make their communities safer.
The B.M.O.C summit, “We Are More Than A Statistic,” provided the young men with workshops, music, raffles, and food for all who attended. They focused on difficult topics, and also provided the young men with resources and support that will help get them to college. Other events such as Oak Park Clean Up’s and Oak Park Community Gardens really helped people in their own communities by providing education and beautification as well as supplying food for any community members that came out to the garden. The community garden teaches families how to grow their own vegetables and how to make healthy meals. The Oak Park Clean Up’s goal is to raise the expectations not only of residents, entrepreneurs, and especially its school-age children, but also of the surrounding neighborhoods, the city, the county, and the Sacramento region as a whole.
Another event that I found to warm my heart while working with Access Sacramento would have to be the Free Health Clinic event that took place in Oak Park. This event showed me that there are a lot of people in the community who want to volunteer their time, and actually care to give back to their community.
Not only was I able to build my skills by filming events all over Sacrament, but I have also been able to strengthen my writing skills. When I first started writing I was not the best writer at all. However, with continuous practice and paying close attention to my editor’s feedback I found myself to get into a better flow of writing. My professors and mentor both have seen a huge growth in my reporting skills, thanks to Access Sacramento. Topics that I found that challenged my writing were topics of breaking down data or research. Sometimes when I was thrown a ton of information it was hard for me to try to digest and write on the topic, but overtime I learned that when are given information you must “eat the meat, and spit out the bones”.
I want to thank everyone at Access Sacramento. I’m grateful for the real-world exposure, the relationships I built, and the things I was privileged enough to see and experience.
Join Accesslocal.tv as we cover the Urban Farm To Fork Experience 2016 event that took place on October 16th.