CGA MOSAIC – Guest Speaker info

Meet The Sidekick executive news editor Sakshi Venkatraman.


The Dallas Morning News internship


Welcome to the 2014 Journalism 2: The Rest of the Story!

Student journalists join the digital media age and become part of the CGA Mosaic media team for the week, where they will design a web page, blog, write stories and post photos and videos of the top news of the week.

Day 1 – Monday: Explore the world of convergence journalism. Tell a story using multiple mediums – take pictures, post a blog, add a video, tweet updates, do it all!

Tell a story using photos. Film and edit a video. Tweet with you see and experience. Write a story and post it online. Record a commentary expressing your opinions.

Do you research – remember to be an ethical journalist.


Mother’s Day letters – IMR

For Intro to Media and Reporting

Assignment for Friday, May 9

Sunday (May 11) is Mother’s Day and today you are going to use your writing skills and express your appreciation for someone special.

You will write a letter to the person of your choice as we celebrate Mother’s Day. This letter needs to be at least a full page as I want to you express your appreciation of this individual on Mother’s Day.

The letter can be written to your mother, grandmother, sister (who is a mother), aunt, teacher you admire as a mother, mother of a friend who has done a lot for you – think of who you want to write you letter to.

Think of specifics as your memories and details will mean a lot to the lucky recipient of your letter.

DEADLINE: End of class, Friday, May 9. You will print (note – you must print from a desktop and cannot print from your iPad) two copies of your letter. One copy will go in the envelope on my desk (it will be kept private) and the second letter is for you to take and give to your recipient for Mother’s Day.



Current Events Assignment – IMR

For Intro to Media and Reporting

Using credible online news sources linked on the blogroll, you are to identify the following:

– A current event on a global level

– A current event on a national level

– A current event on a state level

– A current event on a Dallas-Fort Worth/regional level

– A current event on a Coppell level (it can be CHS/CISD related)

For each event, you are to identify the 5 W’s and H (Who is involved in the story, What is happening, When is it taking place, Where is it taking place, Why did it happen, How is it newsworthy or relevant) and include the link to the site where you found the current event story. For the event to be considered a current event, your story must be no more than 24 hours old or the event must have occurred within the past 24 hours. You cannot use the same story more than once. Be specific.

Deadline: End of class Wednesday, Oct. 30. Save in the appropriate Google docs folder.

Homecoming week reporting – IMR

For Intro to Media and Reporting

It’s homecoming week at Coppell High School and you are on assignment to report on the week’s festivities.

You are responsible for posting to your personal WordPress on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (Oct. 15, 17, 18) about homecoming. Therefore, at the end of the week you will have a total of 3 (or more if you like) posts.

Each day, your post must be different so get creative. Here are some ideas:

– a post that is a short story (think 300 words) about something specific about homecoming (coverage of the parade, who is making the most elaborate mum, coverage of the pep rally, theme days, a story about how somebody asked their date to homecoming, etc.)

– 10 question Q&A with somebody about homecoming. Think of original open ended questions! Include a mug of your subject.

– Photo gallery of 5 or more photos with descriptions. Include the 5 W’s and an H in your cutlines.

– Video about homecoming (90 seconds – 3 minute range) where you feature something about homecoming. Be creative! Think “Everybody Has A Story”

– Design an infographic about homecoming. For example, design an infographic breaking down the various expenses  associated with homecoming. Make sure you do your research and support your information.

You can think of other items as these are just suggestions.

Each day must be a different type of post.

Make sure you post each day by 11:59 p.m.

Have fun! It’s homecoming week and you want your posts to capture the excitement of this week at Coppell High School.

2012-2013 Convergence Projects

For The Sidekick newspaper

Convergence Media Project

What is Convergence Journalism? It is reporting and presenting the news in more than one medium. As you have likely observed, 21st century media organizations are providing their audiences the news through various formats, such as in-depth stories in print, videos, podcasts, graphic illustrations, blogs with multiple links to other sites and photo galleries.

Why are we doing Convergence Media Projects? Today’s journalists need to acquire as many skills possible. Journalists must be able to write, blog, film and edit video, create a podcast, etc. We want you to enter college with an advanced skill level and prepared to adapt in an ever-changing industry. This will help you get internships and jobs. And of course, it’s a great opportunity to show your skills and present a quality product to our community.

What do you do? Pick a partner with the same deadline and decide on a newsworthy topic. Convergence should be our very best story topics. Think of a big event coming to Coppell. Think of an issue on the minds of students. Think of students or an organization on campus doing something special. Be a reporter. Once you have an idea in mind, start developing your product.


First draft of video — due on the “Turn In” date.  Both students will sit with Mrs.

Kennedy for approval no later than that date.

(the sooner the better because teachers are busy).

First draft of story — due on “Turn In” date. Both students will sit with Mr. Wofford

for editing process.  (the sooner the better because teachers are busy).

Posted On Site Date: Both video and print stories should be posted to CSM. 

Here’s a fictional example:  Sophomore John Smith is training to run in the next Boston Marathon. It is a family tradition as his great-grandfather, grandfather, uncles and his dad have run the marathon. Here’s how you could cover this story:

ONLINE STORY:  Interview John Smith, his parents, friends, grandfather and others to put together a feature story. Address why this is important to him, how he is preparing for it, what are his childhood memories of this family tradition, how does his family feel about him continuing the tradition, what has he learned about his family through this, etc. Aim for around 500 words. Both Sidekick and KCBY staffers must be involved in this portion.  Both students will sit thru edit and revision with Mr. Wofford.

VIDEO: Find out when John Smith trains for the marathon. You learn he runs early every Saturday morning at Andy Brown Park. You film John running at the park so the audience can get a visual of his intense training. Catch him arriving before the sun has come up and interview him about the dedication it takes to train for a marathon and why this is important to him. Both Sidekick and KCBY staffers must be involved in this portion. The video should give the viewer a front row seat to the story.  The interview will become the voiceover to narrate the story with the action serving as b-roll.  Both students will sit thru edit and revision with Mrs. Kennedy before final export.

Make sure the story and video to complement each other and don’t repeat the same information. Stories and videos will go through editing and revisions will be made but we want all students in the group working together on this and not separately.

Strive to make this one of your best, if not the best, piece of the year. If you need assistance or have any questions, please see Mrs. Kennedy or Mr. Wofford.

Convergence Deadlines

Video/Story turned in Nov. 12/Posted On site Nov. 14:

Tina Huang   (4)                                                                   Sam Frederick (3/4)
Allison Arnold (6) (Sports writer, fyi)                              Will Seitz (3/4)
Corrina Taylor (3)                                                               Kristin Schulz (2/3)
Ben Cowlishaw  (4)                                                             Keith Kellenberger (3/4)

Video/Story turned in Dec. 17/ Posted On site Dec. 19:

Tolu Salako (4)                                                                     Kiley Bratton (3/4)

Elizabeth Sims (3)                                                               Kristin Anderson (2/3)

Natalie Gilbert (6)                                                                           Jack Hobbs (2)

Annie Wen (6)                                                                     Mason Adams (3/4)

Video/Story turned in Jan. 30/ Posted On site Feb. 1:

Thomas Hair (3)                                                                  Joe Han (3/4)

Christina Burke (6)                                                              Natalie Hinson (2/3)

Julianne Cauley (4)                                                                         Courtney Echerd (3/4)

Kimberly Del Angel (3)                                                      Hannah Connolly (2/3)

Video/Story turned in Feb. 11/ Posted On site Feb. 13:

Kristen Shepard (4)                                                                        Cassidy Pickrell (3/4)

Jordan Thompson (3)                                                         Priscilla DaSilva (3/4)

Will Thomas             (3)                                                                   Capri Jordan (3/4)

Shivani Burra (3)                                                                 Mark Slette (2/3)

Video/Story turned in March 7/ Posted On site March 9:


Video/Story turned in March 28/ Posted On site March 30:


Video/Story turned in April 4/ Posted On site April 6:


Video/Story turned in April 18/ Posted On site April 20:


Video/Story turned in May 9/ Posted On site May 11:


Video/Story turned in May 16/ Posted On site May 18:


First link is by senior Joe Han (KCBY) and 2012 graduated Brian Hwu (The Sidekick) and piece is one of five finalists for NSPA Multimedia Feature of the Year.