Ashley R. spent part of her summer at The School of The New York Times.
Why did you come to The School of The New York Times?
I came to The School of the New York Times to advance my knowledge of journalism and explore the continuously evolving city of New York. The dedicated staff emphasized journalism’s prevalence in society, and the passionate students contained my same drive for producing articles, photographs and videos that tell commonly untold stories. When these elements came together, us students thrived.
What is your key takeaway from Summer Academy?
On orientation day, one of the speakers said ‘Journalism is the first draft of history,’ and that statement continued to linger in my head during the course and made it apparent how the field of journalism is such an prevalent part of modern American life.
What were your favorite site visits?
My favorites site visit (aside from the New York Times building) was to the Instagram headquarters. At the site we attended Instagram Story School, which was an interactive lecture that taught students how social media could be utilize as an additional form of storytelling. During the lecture, our “professor” for Instagram Story School, Elisa Benson, told us about an opportunity where Instagram was pairing up with Girls’ Life Magazine to send a few student journalist to Baltimore to cover an event via IGTV. Once I returned to Orange County I applied and was selected to cover Girls’ Life Magazine Fashion Bash. I then flew to Baltimore and worked with Instagram to compile an IGTV video about my experience at the event.
What was your final project?
During the course we learned about service journalism, specifically how to write a “36 Hours” article. Through visiting Coney Island, Dumbo and Industry City we individually wrote a “36 Hours on the Brooklyn Waterfront,” which was then put together by all approximately 20 students to create one final “36 Hours on the Brooklyn Waterfront.” Professor Higgins then sent the page to Jesse Pesta (The New York Times’ Art Director) who laid out our article like a page of newspaper and presented us with it as a gift at the end of the course.
What does The New York Times mean to you?
The New York Times is the mecca of storytelling. It’s ability to craft unbiased and heart wrenching stories will always lead it be my favorite source for news.
What does it mean to you to study in New York City?
As my first time in New York City I kept comparing it to the song “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem. To me, the song talks about the chaotic beauty of the city and I would let students know that the city is overwhelming, but once in the words of Ace Frehley develop your own “New York Groove” it will becomes the most exhilarating place.
What do you think you want to be when you grow up?
I desire to be a music journalist. The ability to talk with musicians about their records that have been the soundtrack to so many individuals’ lives continuously leaves me grateful and in awe.