by Mark Payumo
The pandemic barely slowed Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) down, ending 2020 with sizable grants from generous foundations that allow MVJ to continue serving the needs of the veteran community with one simple goal in mind: to get more vets to work in journalism. MVJ’s video journalism workshop that is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2021 found a place in The Walton Family Foundation’s long-term vision for quality education in America, which will spearhead the sponsor of the workshop that will be attended by 10 military veterans. The University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism and New Media with support from FUJIFILM are also sponsoring the event.
Originally intended as an all-expense paid, 10-day workshop before COVID-19 that would have covered flights, lodging, food, and rental cars (to cover stories in and around Oxford, Mississippi), the workshop will now be conducted entirely online over the course of eight weeks, culminating in a film fest where a winning video will be selected for a prize—one of the judges will include Michael McCoy whose work was included in Time Magazine’s Top 100 Photos of 2020. FUJIFILM will provide and award an X-T4 camera kit valued at $2,199.95 to the winning video.
More than the high-profile entities and personalities coming together to make this workshop a reality, quality learning experience is the primary intention of the workshop that will equip the participants with this valuable skill in order to make them competitive in terms of what they actually bring to the table as they seek employment.
Setting them up for success is Duy Linh Tu of Columbia University, one of the most renowned professors in the field and author of Feature and Narrative Storytelling for Multimedia Journalists, the first text that truly focuses on the multimedia and documentary production techniques required by professional journalists. Alongside him teaching is Julian Lim, also a faculty member of Columbia University’s Journalism School. Julian is an Emmy-nominated documentary producer and co-founder and creative director of 511C Productions whose works have appeared on Bloomberg, Axios, Newsweek, and New York Magazine.
As the workshop’s Jan. 4 kickoff date draws near, MVJ is keen on posting updates across social media with a particular focus on promoting the veteran participants. One good starting point is on Facebook and LinkedIn. There are also other ways to support MVJ and the veteran community and it’s all about getting involved by becoming a member, mentoring a veteran, or volunteering. But if, say, you want to see meaningful impact for any potential dollar that you might want to put in, anyone can consider donating here and see MVJ in action bring in veteran energy, talent, grit, and dedication to work in America’s newsrooms.