Pitching to Planning, Digital to Data

Data journalism and digital design.

Story ideas and magazine themes.

Social media presentations and interactive discussions.

Pizza and cookies (of course).

There was much for ThreeSixty high school students to experience, learn and celebrate at the January 23 meeting of News Team, ThreeSixty’s monthly core programming activity.  

For starters, student reporters who worked on the January issue of ThreeSixty Magazine were the first to see (and celebrate) the fruits of their labor. The magazine, which had arrived in bundles at ThreeSixty’s offices roughly 36 hours earlier, was a visual payoff for their hard work since they began the process of brainstorming story ideas and magazine themes last September.

While that was happening, our Social Media Team – a dedicated group of ThreeSixty high school students and volunteer professionals – was hammering away at the Youth Social Media Summit, a student-led initiative that will teach other Twin Cities students how to use social media wisely, effectively and responsibly for their future success in a digital world. The Social Media Team, which includes volunteers Erica Dao of Weber Shandwick, Jim Hammerand of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, David Jungers of Sprinklr, Brittany Chaffee of Lewk and Erin Lilliencrantz and Emma Strub of Bellmont Partners Public Relations, as well as Youth Social Media Summit Coordinator Theresa Malloy, gathered materials and prepared to lead a trio of breakout sessions during the Summit on February 27 at the University of St. Thomas.

Later that morning, MaryJo Webster and Michael Grant, both of the Star Tribune, captured the students’ attention while speaking about existing opportunities in data journalism and digital design. Webster, a computer-assisted reporting editor, and Grant, a senior digital designer, informed students about the ways they can harness data to tell stories and, eventually, land a job.

And after a nutritious lunch of pizza and cookies (soul food, we call it), students began preparing for the May 2016 issue of ThreeSixty Magazine. They selected a timely magazine theme, brainstormed individual story ideas and pitched their story ideas in front of the other 20-some students before receiving an assignment.

No surprises here: These students came up with some fantastic story ideas. We can’t wait for you to see the finished products in our May issue.