Archived Course

Digital storytelling for the next generation of Latinx journalists

June 20-July 17, 2022
Instructor(s):   Amara Aguilar

Welcome to the Knight Center's new online course, "Digital storytelling for the next generation of Latinx journalists," organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, in collaboration with Microsoft. This four-week online course will be held from June 20-July 17, 2022 and will be open to students who apply and are admitted to the course.

Students will learn fundamentals of several key subject areas, including:

- Branding and exploring identity

- Using TikTok and social media to tell your own story

- Tips and tools to elevate your journalism

- Advice, challenges and inspiration for the future

Watch the video below and read on for more details, including instructions on how to apply for this course.

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This four-week online course will be held from June 20-July 17, 2022 and will be open to students who apply and are admitted to the course. Please fill out this application to be considered for enrollment in the course, “Digital Storytelling for the Next Generation of LatinX Journalists.”

To be eligible, you must be a LatinX student enrolled at a college or university or a recent college graduate. If you’re accepted, we’ll notify you as soon as possible prior to the course, and we will send instructions on how to enroll.

Please feel free to contact us at journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu with any questions you may have.

For the next four weeks, you will learn about:

  • How to strengthen your brand and explore identity
  • Use the Stories format to explore best practices in visuals, audio, text; bringing it all together to tell your own story
  • Free tools you can use to elevate your journalism
  • Real talk about challenges Latinx students and journalists face, advice, resources, and the future of journalism

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Define steps to create a strong brand
  • Reflect on aspects of identity and culture
  • Create a story using visuals, audio, text, graphics for TikTok
  • Construct a story that focuses on an aspect of Latinx culture
  • Demonstrate how to use digital tools to create or enhance a story
  • Identify challenges and advice for Latinx students entering the media industry
  • Evaluate trends related to the future of journalism

Introduction Module

This module will give you a glimpse into highlights of what the course will cover. We’ll also take a look at some of the tools you will need to complete this course.

This module will cover:

  • Introduction to the course
  • Highlights from topic areas

Module 1: Branding and exploring identity (June 20-26, 2022)

We will discuss branding and creating a digital presence for journalists. Transparency, professional boundaries, use of social media, and personal brand will be discussed. We will also explore aspects of identity and culture, including discussions surrounding the term Latinx. We will also speak to Rolling Stone reporter Tomás Mier.

This module will cover:

  • Your personal brand as a journalist and human
  • Transparency, boundaries, social media ethics
  • Identity, Latinx and embracing your culture
  • Interview with Rolling Stone reporter Tomás Mier

Module 2: Using TikTok and social media to tell your own story (June 27 - July 3, 2022)

We examine how to use TikTok’s format to leverage text, visuals, audio, graphics and create strong narratives. We will also explore how to embrace your own story and explore culture and our roots. We will also speak to Vox audience engagement editor Gabby Fernandez.

This module will cover:

  • How to effectively use multimedia to tell a strong narrative
  • Using text and visuals to provide context and color
  • How to embrace and tell your own story
  • Interview with Vox audience engagement editor Gabby Fernandez

Module 3: Tips and tools to elevate your journalism (July 4 - July 10, 2022)

A demo of practical tools to elevate your stories will be featured.

This module will cover:

  • How to elevate your story telling with M365 and other free tools
  • Examine data related to Latinx communities
  • Interview with Microsoft’s Cynthia Reynaud

Module 4: Real talk about challenges Latinx students and journalists face, advice, resources, and the future of journalism (July 11 - July 17, 2022)

We will hear a real talk-focused, panel discussion on challenges faced by Latinx journalists and media professionals. Along with that, we will discuss advice and practical tips for those entering journalism. To end our course, we’ll hear some advice from NAHJ members.

This module will cover:

  • Real talk with panelists: Lorena Bouvedaire (BuzzFeed News/Huffington Post audience engagement editor); Eric Resendiz (ABC7 community journalist), Erick Galindo (KPCC, LAist podcaster and reporter); Astrid Kayembe (Report for America)
  • Trends and the future of journalism: What’s Next with Fernando Hurtado, NBC Manager of Digital Video; Ashley Alvarado, KPCC/LAist Vice president of community engagement
  • Advice from NAHJ members!

Amara Aguilar photo

Dr. Amara Aguilar is a professor of journalism at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She teaches journalism for mobile/emerging platforms, social media storytelling for Latinx audiences, visual journalism, engaging diverse communities, public relations strategy, and interactive design, among other courses. At USC, she co-founded Annenberg Media’s award-winning bilingual outlet, Dímelo, focused on serving Latinx audiences.

Aguilar has written for the Los Angeles Times, CNN, NiemanLab, and other outlets. She has worked as a designer, visual journalist, reporter, social media engagement producer and consultant. She’s conducted social media, data, and digital journalism training for the Associated Press, ABC News, the National Football League and other organizations. Aguilar earned an Online News Association Challenge Fund grant for Innovation in Education in 2020, was named a TOW Knight Disruptive Educator for innovation in 2018, MediaShift’s top innovative journalism educator in 2018, a Scripps Howard Foundation-AEJMC visiting social media fellow in 2017, and an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2015. Her collaborations at USC include work with ABC7, L.A. TACO, NBC Latino, Snap Inc., Fusion, KPCC, NPR Next Generation Radio, Las Fotos Project, Azteca America, and others. She is also an SPJ trainer on Google News Initiative tools.

At USC she is a regular collaborator and faculty fellow for the Center for Public Diplomacy and has also worked with the Center for Health Journalism. She earned her doctorate at USC’s Rossier school of education in organizational change and leadership, where her research focused on converged newsrooms. She is currently examining the state of Latinas in journalism and writing a book focused on Latinx storytelling. Her co-edited and co-authored book, Reporting on Latinx/o/a Communities: A Guide for Journalists is now available for pre-order: https://www.routledge.com/Reporting-on-Latinoax-Communities-A-Guide-for-Journalists/Puente-Retis-Aguilar-Rico/p/book/9781032079738

Bio link: https://annenberg.usc.edu/faculty/amara-aguilar

This course is open to Latinx college and university students in the United States. Students must apply and be accepted to participate in this course. Those who are interested in learning, as well as strengthening their reporting and storytelling skills for diverse audiences, are encouraged to apply.

First of all, note that this is an asynchronous course. That means there are no live events scheduled at specific times. You can log in to the course and complete activities throughout the week at your own pace, at the times and on the days that are most convenient for you. Despite its asynchronous nature, there are still structures in place for the duration of the course.

The material is organized into four weekly modules. Each module will be taught by Amara Aguilar and will cover a different topic through videos, presentations, readings and discussion forums. There will be a quiz each week to test the knowledge you've gained through the course materials. The weekly quizzes, and weekly participation in the discussion forums, are the basic requirements for earning a free certificate of participation at the end of the course.

This course is very flexible, and if you are behind with the materials, you have the entire length of the course to complete them. We do recommend you complete each of the following before the end of each week so you don’t fall behind:

  • Video lectures
  • Readings and handouts/exercises
  • Participation in the discussion forums
  • Quizzes covering concepts from video lectures and/or readings

A certificate of completion is awarded by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas to attest to the participation in the online course.

There's no form to apply for the certificate of completion. At the end of the course, the Knight Center team will verify all students and all activities required to qualify for the certificate of completion.

After verifying that students have met the course requirements, the Knight Center will send students a message confirming that they have met the requirements and are eligible for the free certificate.

To be eligible for the free certificate of completion, students must:

  • Listen to the weekly video classes and read the weekly readings.
  • Complete weekly quizzes with a minimum score of 70%. (You can retake the quizzes as many times as needed. Only the highest score will be recorded.)
  • Create OR reply to at least one discussion forum each week.

There are no formal credits of any kind associated with this certificate. The certificate is issued by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas only to certify participation in the online course.