Ms. D’s – Before AUSA – 2011

Linda Dennis, Program Manager

Before Day 1

A Backpack Journalists team of teachers and interns have arrived in Washington, DC!  Trunks and black cases of computers and Canon cameras arrive with us.  It’s all about now getting ready and organizing our gear to prepare for the military youth who are to join us shortly.  You can’t miss us – we will be in white t-shirts with the A Backpack Journalist logo and wearing PRESS BADGES as we begin to Cover the Assignment – AUSA.

Orientation night includes the distribution of the backpacks, the t-shirts and jackets and getting all the maps and the event times and locations. We go over Day 1 – Day 6, and post in our operations room, a daily plan and a list of interviews to come.  (Note:  we always plan on the unexpected, and look forward to new “discoveries”, meeting new people while on this assignment and just satisfying our curiosities! After all, just how do you fly a “jet”? Why did that General learn how to speak Italian?)

One of our most favorite times is getting to meet someone new from another part of the US. Portraits will be made, along with a short “About me” on each young person.  We want to be sure our reporters are clearly recognized on this blog, as well as our Backpack News – Daily that we publish and hand out at our booth – 3424.

And, to close out our evening, we always take time to introduce our teachers who will lead on DAY 1 with a great day of classes – on photojournalism and great writing and interviewing!  Plus, this class has a special treat as we spend time on “finding one’s voice”.  We have a special guest coming to speak to us about US Army Public Affairs.  That’s just the start!  More to come!

Cover the Assignment AUSA Edition

A Backpack Journalist team of teachers and business professionals will be overseeing and teaching writing, broadcast journalism and photojournalism training that ultimately will allow a group of military youth to:

“COVER THE ASSIGNMENT – On location in Washington, D.C. at the annual AUSA meeting – OCTOBER 2011”

This special group of military youth will become “public affairs reporters” during the event and report on the AUSA Meeting happenings via writing and photo stories. During the AUSA Family Forum, their work will be presented live, online, and also in video that they create from their work. Additionally, the teams of military youth will choose a presenter and then they will present directly to those in attendance regarding their experience during the AUSA meeting, and also the military life, per se.

There are 8 National Guard Military Youth – 2 US Army Reserve, Child Youth School Services and 10 expected from the US Army Installations of Ft. Bragg & Ft. Campbell.

On the exhibition floor – A Backpack Journalist will have a booth – a “Digital Mobile Newsroom” that has been built by our partner: Ventana Productions, Washington, DC.

Within this booth, all attendees of the AUSA meeting will be able to watch as our reporters, directors, producers, filmmakers, editors – assemble their work.

Stay tuned for more as we get ready for our time in Washington!