Youth Journalists Gather to Sharpen Skills, Make New Friends

Mar. 16, 2012 / By

Coachella Unincorporated reporters Johnny Flores, Ivan Delgado, Aurora Delgado, Tony Aguilar and coordinator Brenda Rincon visit the beach after a day of workshops with colleagues from VoiceWaves and South Kern Sol.

By Johnny Flores, Jr.,
Coachella Unincorporated

Long Beach, Calif. – Last Saturday, March 10, my fellow Coachella Unincorporated reporters and I joined New America Media groups Long Beach VoiceWaves and the South Kern Sol for a journalism workshop.

Upon arriving at the Long Beach YMCA, we were greeted by various members of VoiceWaves and South Kern Sol. The day began with an icebreaker during which we were able to familiarize ourselves with the other journalists. Afterward, we learned how to sharpen our journalistic writing and improve our research skills.

After an afternoon photography workshop, we hit the streets of the diverse Long Beach neighborhood. We took pictures of interesting people and sights in the neighborhood park and local shops. We enjoyed an authentic meal at Crystal’s Cambodian and Thai restaurant. We ended the day with a visit to the beach before heading back to the Coachella Valley.

Here are what some attendees had to say about the event:

“The event was great. We were able to see how different it is a couple hours west of home. Unfortunately, I was able to see the level of poverty that surrounds the community, but I was pleased to see how accommodating the city of Long Beach has been to the homeless, with places like the YMCA offering free showers on certain weekends. It was nice meeting members of VoiceWaves and South Kern Sol. We were able to get really close throughout the day. I spent the day not only getting to meet new people, but also getting closer with Coachella Unincorporated peers. I hope this wasn’t a one-time event, because I could definitely get some sun again.” — Ivan Delgado, Coachella Unincorporated

“The event was interesting. I learned different styles of journalism, as well as a different structure of writing such as the inverted pyramid. One thing that I really like was the photography class. I learned the different angles of photography and most of all how to take pictures. In the future more events should be held, that are similar to this. There will always be new members in these journalism groups and some do not know the basics to this type of work.” — Gibran Moncayo, South Kern Sol

“This event was really fun. I got to interact with the other journalism groups. I also had a chance to improve on my journalism skills as well. My favorite part was the photography session. I now know how to take proper pictures. In the future more events like this should be held. Maybe next time all the journalism groups from California can meet together and we can go for a longer day.”– Clara Bruno, South Kern Sol

“You could never learn too much. Every day we learn something new. There were a lot of new things I learned that day, one of the main things was the writing tips we got. For example, to have all punctuation inside of quote marks. We should most definitely have more events in the future. But one thing I would do differently is to encourage everyone to try to talk to someone that they do not know. I feel like it is important for us to get to know one another and feel comfortable with each other, after all we are all a team and who know maybe one day we might need from each other and that comfort might not be there. “–Wendy Lopez, VoiceWaves

“It was a wonderful experience to get together with fellow groups of students who share the same interests and passions. I enjoyed the opportunity to gain insight into different and diverse communities and would gladly do it again.”– Aurora Saldivar, Coachella Unincorporated



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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.