UTEP journalism student adapts to reporting from home


EL PASO – When health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic moved UT El Paso courses online in March, multimedia journalism major Exodis Ward wasn’t sure what to do for her next video story assignment.

People were isolated at home. The city and school required social distancing protocols be followed. How could she cover a story without being in the same room as her sources?

“It’s not very often that I draw a blank, so I pitched a very literal idea: How are reporters reporting from home? Honestly, I think my brain was fried from being at home for like a month at this point,” Ward wrote in her blog.

She focused on her own work and that of her colleagues at The Prospector, the campus student news outlet.

“I was able to show how I get interviews on Zoom. I was able to show what I meant when I discussed social media and how it can be your best ally,” Ward wrote. “I used a great deal of b-roll in this video. I had a few stand-ups that I used as a type of transition.”

She explained she had to record her on-camera reporting with her cell phone instead of her computer to get better audio quality. And, she sought advice from others.

“I’m by no-means a professional, so I reached out to my editor-in-chief Valeria Olivares, who is a fellow at the Dallas Morning News. She’s working with professionals and she provided some real insight,” Ward wrote.

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