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Digital Portfolio: Jill Peruzzi

Jill Peruzzi, Senior Reporter

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My name is Jill Peruzzi and I am concluding my second year as a reporter for WACS News. This year, I had the opportunity to hold the title of Senior Reporter since I took the class as a sophomore and again as a junior. I originally enrolled in “Online Publishing” and I expected to be writing the Bulldog Student News Paper, only to learn that it had been combined with WACS News into “Multimedia Production.” At first I was unsure about this since I knew nothing about video production. However, I soon found out that making videos was a fun and creative way of reporting the news. The digital format was also a nice deviation from my other traditional classes. I have always been fascinated with reading and watching the news, and being able to inform others about events around the Alden school and community has been very rewarding.

My videography work has improved significantly throughout the course of the year. I was able to further develop my editing and filming skills by becoming more familiar with iMovie. I started out the year with a preview of the 2018 Spanish Club trip to Panama. This was not an example of my best work, since it only consisted of an interview and images of Panama. It could have been improved by adding a voice over, background music, and more interesting b-roll. Another story I covered was the Alden Cosmobots kick off of their second season. This video included improved b-roll and all of the interviews utilized the rule of thirds. However, it still could have used a voice-over and better editing to make the interviews less lengthy.
During my time in WACS News, I enjoyed the opportunity to report on events throughout the community that I would not have normally attended. One example of this was the St. John’s Polish Night. This video was an improvement on prior ones since it included a voice-over and effectively showcased all of the festivities of the night in an informative and entertaining manor. The following story I covered was the sophomore and junior class fundraisers. I was able to incorporate scenes from SpongeBob SquarePants into the video, which correlated with the juniors selling chocolate bars. It was one of the first opportunities I had to give a story a comical aspect. After that, I did a report on Music in our Schools Month. It included footage from each band in the district and successfully conveyed the musical talents of Alden’s students. Next, I attended the NHS Induction. It felt good to bring the hardworking inductees some of the recognition they deserve by allowing the ceremony to be viewed by a wider audience than just family and friends.

My favorite event to cover was the Alden Kiwanis Duck Race, even though it never actually happened. It took creativity to “make something out of nothing” and come up with the idea to have a lone mourner at the site of the cancelled event. With the help of my neighbor and some editing, it actually turned out to be rather humorous. I feel that I did a good job utilizing many of the features on iMovie, such as speed, color, and sound effects. The final event I covered this year was the 7th grade chicken barbecue, and it was actually my first chance to do a story at the Middle School. The best part was seeing the excitement and enthusiasm when I asked a group of students if they wanted to be on WACS News. It demonstrated the wide popularity that WACS News has gained throughout the district. I’m sure these students will bring this enthusiasm with them as they enter high school and have the opportunity to take Multimedia Production themselves.

Some advice for future students would be to pick stories that you are interested in covering as often as possible. It makes it easier and more fun to create reports on the subject. However, there will be times when you have to report on things that don’t appeal to you. Try to stay positive and bring out the best parts of the story. You may find that it is more interesting than you think. I found this to be the case when doing stories on the robotics team both this year and last year. Although the subject itself didn’t interest me, I discovered the talent, passion, and dedication that the team possesses. I also learned a lot about how they design and build their robot, and what goes into preparing for competitions. Another tip for success is to avoid procrastinating. Although a news cycle may seem like a sufficient amount of time, it goes by very quickly if you save all of your work until the end. I definitely struggled with time-management, but I improved as the year went on by starting to work on stories as soon as they were assigned.

WACS News serves the school by keeping students informed on various platforms such as social media. It also serves the community by putting a spotlight on events within the school district and town. In this class, I have learned what it would be like to work in a real news conglomerate, and all of the hard work that it requires. Overall, I have had a positive experience delivering the news to the people of Alden, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the #1 source of digital news in the 14004 zip code.

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Digital Portfolio: Jill Peruzzi