MALIBU, CA — I had the opportunity to experience the most fast-pace and exciting news training I have received. The APTRA Academy [Associated Press Television and Radio Association] is an annual two-day boot camp for aspiring news reporters and anchors.
The camp has four different sections including the English reporter, Spanish reporter, radio and the anchoring camp. In 2015, I participated in the anchoring camp and it was such a great experience being mentored by Ross Becker, KUSI News Anchor- San Diego.
This year, 2016, I chose the reporting camp because once I graduate from college my goal will be to work as a reporter or producer. The experience within the two days is something you cannot get anywhere else. Hal Eisner- Fox 11 News reporter, puts this entire program together every year with the help of volunteers and mentors who are professional workers in the news business.
For the reporter camp, Hal and his team make up scenarios in which they act out as if it were truly happening. The Fire and Police department and Oceanside police all acted out emergency skits for the purpose of our news packages. I have provided a video below so you can visually see the story!
Hal Eisner started organizing the APTRA camp back in the year 2000 when he realized some
T-V stations were not letting interns go out into the fields and do their standups because of concerns over insurance liabilities.
"I have always thought it was important to pay things forward," said Fox 11 News Reporter and Organizer of the event, Hal Eisner. "The good thing was that I have a lot of friends here in Southern California and as I was throwing the idea around and asking them to give up a weekend to help people out, they always reached out saying of course they could."
Now with seventeen years in, every year is unique because the story line is different. However, what makes every year similar is the heart that is given by the volunteers and professionals who come out.
"This all started because we saw a need, we had a feeling and we wanted to fill the void," said Hal Eisner.
My personal mentors this past weekend were Natalie Brunell - Reporter for KCRA-TV-Sacramento, Pete Wilgoren - Fox 11 News- Los Angeles and Chris Tarpening- Photographer/Editor with KESQ- Palm Springs. I greatly appreciate the advice I received from the three of them. I learned how to get my footage and how to alter my voice for my stand-ups.
Where else will you be able to get personal advice from numerous people in the business?
I am grateful that all mentors and volunteers took the time out of their busy schedules to critique our work and prepare us to be good competition when finding a job.
Not only have I learned valuable journalistic skills, but also I networked with people from all over the state. Ranging from Desk Editors to Reporters to Anchors and even News Directors.
I knew they cared when they were more than happy to share their contact information in order for them to assist me with building my resume or reel.
If you are looking to network and get hands on experience, I definitely recommend the APTRA Academy Camp.
The scenarios above are acted, it is part of the APTRA camp.