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UVMtv program director heading to Cannes

March 30, 2014
Callie Bowen

Callie Bowen

Callie Bowen, a first-year student at UVM and the incoming program director at UVMtv, has been accepted into the 2014 Creative Minds in Cannes Program.

As a program intern, Bowen will have the opportunity to travel to Cannes in the French Riviera for two weeks for the international film festival in May and attend red carpet events.

Bowen got her acceptance email Tuesday, she said.

“The first thing I saw in the subject line was CMIC waitlist opening slot, and I just started freaking out,” Bowen said. “I’m really surprised that I didn’t wake up the rest of my suite, I was so loud.

“I immediately called my mom and started screaming on the phone that I got in. She was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

The Creative Mind Group states on its website that the internship program is the most competitive program they offer.

This unique experience affords the participants an opportunity to work intimately with a Film or Television company in a department pertinent to the participant’s career goals. It also provides the students with an opportunity to prove themselves with a company that could hire them and launch their career. The program consists of an internship with a noteworthy Film or Television company, follow up assistance with post festival job securing and access to exclusive parties & networking events.

In these weeks leading up to the red carpet, Bowen can be found doing her weekly video updates about UVM events for UVMtv and UVMBored.

UVM’s student media gets PBS airtime as part of a ‘visionary’ college union

March 12, 2014

When PBS went looking for the nation’s most noteworthy college unions, producers quickly found their way to the University of Vermont’s Dudley H. Davis Center.

And, just as the offices of WRUV-FM and The Vermont Cynic sit at the center of the student center, our own radio station and newsroom sit at the center of  the show.

Well, actually, they sit at minute 8:28 and a little after. But you get the idea.

The Davis Center figures prominently in a PBS “Visionaries” documentary about college unions, released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Association of College Unions International.

Hosted by actor Sam Waterston—who you might know as District Attorney Jack McCoy on the TV series “Law & Order”—the PBS series highlights stories of nonprofit organizations around the world that are working to make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.

The documentary features interviews with former Cynic editor-in-chief Natalie DiBlasio, now a reporter for USA Today, and former managing editor Devin Karambelas, an intern at “Vermont Edition” on Vermont Public Radio, each of whom spent untold hours working in the Cynic newsroom, which is located on the ground floor of the Davis Center.

Devin Karambelas, left, and Natalie DiBlasio in the Cynic newsroom as featured in the PBS "Visionaries" documentary

Devin Karambelas, left, and Natalie DiBlasio in the Cynic newsroom as featured in the PBS “Visionaries” documentary

“The incredible thing about campus is that, no matter where you go, students are doing things,” DiBlasio says in the documentary, “but having the Davis Center be here–in this magnificent building, with wonderful resources–it attracts people.”

Says Karambelas, “It’s so infectious, the energy that you get in here.”

The Davis Center was featured thanks to a recommendation from the international college unions group, in part because of the center’s environmental stewardship, celebrated when it was awarded the Gold standard for leadership in energy and environmental design from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The documentary features interviews with and footage of dozens of students and UVM employees for whom the Davis Center is a home away from home.

Karambelas, who speaks in the show of spending late nights in the Cynic newsroom to meet her newspaper’s deadlines, says, “In some sense, I don’t think I’d rather be anyplace else.”

Former Vermont Cynic staffers—a New York Times writer and CDM Group exec—talk shop with current Cynics

February 10, 2014

Vermont Cynic alumni Eric Lipton of the New York Times and Josh Prince of The CDM Group spent Saturday with current UVM reporters, editors and visual journalists, talking over ways to improve their work, get creative and land jobs.





Lipton and Prince—Cynic leaders in the 1980s—said they traveled to UVM, in part, to give back to a student newspaper that helped to shape their lives.

“My entire professional career is like a direct line from the Cynic,” said Prince, chief creative officer of an organization that bills itself as the world’s largest global healthcare communications company.

Lipton—Cynic editor-in-chief in 1987 and now a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter working for The New York Times in Washington, D.C.—said he had a chance to exercise his creativity at the UVM student newspaper.

He encouraged current Cynics to do the same.

“Something you must have in order to have a creative life is the ability to write and the ability to think critically,” Lipton said. “You have your lives in front of you. You can go so many different ways with your creative skills.”

Vermont Cynic alumni Eric Lipton of the New York Times and Josh Prince of The CDM Group give career advice to current Cynics Saturday at the University of Vermont.

Vermont Cynic alumni Eric Lipton of the New York Times and Josh Prince of The CDM Group give career advice to current Cynics Saturday at the University of Vermont.

Lipton comes to UVM about once a year to offer journalistic advice to Cynic staffers. Prince said that he comes not only to offer career advice but to recruit for his agency.

Natalie Williams, the 2014 Cynic editor-in-chief, said she was impressed with the daylong workshop.

“It was great to be able to speak with really accomplished people who got their start at the Cynic,” Williams said. “Eric and Josh provided really constructive feedback and successfully made us think about what impact we want to make as an organization.”

Prince said he remembers his days at the Cynic fondly.

“All of our lasting friendships were forged at the Cynic,” he said. “Once a Cynic, always a Cynic.”

UVM media students team up with Ellen to surprise a lucky family in South Hero, Vt.

January 28, 2014

UVM media students are accustomed to spreading the word via WRUV-FM, UVMtv and The Vermont Cynic. Last week, however, they went on a brief media blackout to take part in a super-secret segment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.32.57 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.32.47 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.33.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 11.33.04 PMThe UVM student media program helped facilitate the segment, in which six students helped to surprise a South Hero family that Ellen—yeah, we’re on a first-name basis now—had chosen to receive a gaggle of gifts as part of her “Cash at Your Door” segment.

To keep the Jan. 22 surprise gift-giving a surprise,  Ellen’s producers forbade the students saying a word, especially through social media. The students restrained themselves. They got a backstage pass to the proceedings in sub-zero wind-chilly weather, and some even went on-camera to deliver the gift cards. (See the embedded snaps.)

In the field were Melisa Rayvid and Michael Cohen of UVMtv, Sadie Holliday and Maxe Mazelis of WRUV, and Natalie Williams and Cory Dawson of The Vermont Cynic.

“It was a very cool experience but also incredibly cold,” Williams said. “We were in South Hero, by a lake where the weather was well into the negatives.”

Dawson, the Cynic’s video editor, echoed those sentiments:

So here’s my account. We obviously were the people who brought in all their gifts. It was extremely cold. We must have heard everyone from California say “Its 70 in Burbank” at least 20 times. Our manager was this guy named Phil. Great guy, but no sense of direction. We had to call him and redirect him a lot. We even missed the house the first time.

It felt great to give this obviously deserving family all these gifts. The amount of gifts you see on screen wasn’t even a quarter of the gifts that they actually got, there was an entire van full of gifts. We must have been going from the van to the family, back and fourth, for five minutes.

We had Phil describe the process they have every family go through to determine if they’re worthy of these prizes. Very simply, they have a mock telemarketer-type person call and ask them some questions, and from those questions they can discern when they’re usually home and what the situation is with the family. But he said they always say, “It’s a one in a million chance this will happen to you,” when in reality it’s quite a good chance, relatively speaking.

It feels really good to give to these people, who obviously deserved it. The crew from Ellen were all really great, and they all do really want to make these people happy.

Check out the video to see the UVM media crew in action.

You need an online writing portfolio

January 15, 2014

So there you are, going through college, studying hard, getting good grades and producing fabulous work.

What do you have to show for it?

The answer should be: AN AMAZING ONLINE PORTFOLIO!

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 10.57.49 AM

Is this who your Facebook profile says you are?

Potential employers today are going to look you up. When they do, you don’t want them to find pictures of you in less-than-professional moments. You want them to see you at your best. There’s lots of advice out there about what to put into a portfolio. However, if you’re in college—and you’ve made it this far in today’s post—you likely know what you want to display. If you don’t, all you need to do is stop by your college’s career center to ask the professionals there what they think you should be sending into the world.

Professional portfolios are easier to make than you realize

Professional portfolios are easier to make than you realize.

Once you’ve chosen the work that you want the world to see, you’ll find it easy to produce blog-style portfolios on free platforms like WordPress—which hosts this blog—or Google’s Blogspot, each of which has its pros and cons. You can create pages with words, photos, images, videos and links galore.

In my news-writing course,  I ask students to collect their work into an online portfolio. Many of these students have gone on to turn their blogs into professional-looking websites that showcase their work and help them get jobs.

Here are just a few portfolios of UVM students and recent UVM grads. Some began in my course; some didn’t. Each is a brilliant showcase of work that presents them as professional and eminently hirable.

Each of these sites were put together with WordPress or Blogspot. You could have yours up and running within the next hour.

Get to it!

Recent Vermont Cynic grad makes national headlines for her reporting—and goodwill

January 6, 2014

UPDATE, Jan. 9 — In an interview with ABC news, DiBlasio discusses the ethics of sharing a source’s information with a third party: in this case, the source’s mother.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 2.44.35 PMHundreds of news outlets today are reporting the story about USA Today reporter Natalie DiBlasio, the 2011 Vermont Cynic editor in chief, whose outreach to a reader helped a woman find her missing son.

The story—which started circulating around social media a day before becoming official, widespread, old-media news—started with DiBlasio’s USA Today article about recent frigid temperatures gripping the country. The story was accompanied by a photo taken by Associated Press photographer Jacquelyn Martin of a homeless man, who identified himself only as “Nick,” warming himself by a grate in Washington D.C.

The man turned out to be Nicholas Simmons, a 20-year-old who disappeared from his home in upstate New York on Jan. 1. His mother, Michelle Hannah Simmons, reached out to DiBlasio, who contacted the photographer. Together, they helped Nick’s mother track him down.

As of this afternoon, stories about DiBlasio appeared in everything from the USA Today-affiliated Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, where people who knew Nick originally saw his photo, to the Canadian National Post. DiBlasio said she has also been invited to talk about her experience on the Jan. 6 episode of Inside Edition.

Gawker was among the first to report about DiBlasio's work in helping a mother find her missing son.

Gawker was among the first to report about DiBlasio’s work in helping a mother find her missing son.

Journ-optimism from across the sea

December 16, 2013

So, yes, it’s a weird journalism-jobs landscape.

Media outlets continue to bleed talent in the form of layoffs, buyouts and staff cuts, and a story out today on the Poynter website makes a case that, while newspapers continue to retain their position at the front of the traditional media pack when it comes to online advertising revenue, newspapers will lose more than half of their share of digital ads in the next five years.

But the news about news isn’t all gloomy. Persistent, talented students can graduate into amazing careers. Just ask Jessica Bartlett at The Boston Globe, Molly Shaker at Good Morning America or Connor Boals, formerly of Thomson Reuters and now a producer at the mobile-first startup NowThis News.

It doesn’t hurt to have a great internship, of course, both for U.S. students and those overseas. Belgian college student Lana Mortelmans wrote us recently to offer her insight into the global journalism sitch.

One takeaway message: Would-be journalists are struggling everywhere, yet optimism drives them on.


By Lana Mortelmans

LanaPicSixty journalism students are supposed to graduate this year from the AP Hogeschool in Antwerp. Most plan to work in the journalism sector, but more than 80 percent say they are afraid that they won’t find a journalism job. The media, their teachers, other journalists—everyone tells them how hard it is for journalists to find a job. The students are scared.

Perhaps they shouldn’t be. Every AP student has found an internship, and the vast majority believe that a good internship can facilitate the search for a job. Most hope to land a job in print media. But can they?

Though Belgian media is actually holding up well in comparison to other countries, print suffers more than other forms of media. This year, the circulation of Belgian newspapers decreased by 14 percent, with popular newspapers leading the decline. Last month, it was announced that another 205 Belgian newspaper journalists would be fired. The number of newspaper mergers keeps increasing. Belgian radio consumption decreased by 7 percent last year. Belgian television is doing better, with a decrease of just 3 percent.

Without new, energetic talent, journalism will be doomed. It’s up to our generation to make sure journalism will survive.

We all chose to study journalism because we’re interested in media. It’s a fact that the number of available journalism jobs is decreasing, but if we are demotivated now, we certainly won’t find journalism jobs. We should be proud to be journalists. I would be proud to call myself a journalist. And I’m sure I will be soon. I can’t wait to see my own journalistic work published. I hope that my fellow journalism students can find similar motivation as they step into the job market.

I hope that my fellow journalism students can find similar motivation as they step into the job market.

Lana Mortelmans is a 20-year-old journalism student in her third and final year at Artesis Plantijn University College in Antwerp. She hopes to become a television journalist. 


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