ECCO Student Spotlight: Elliot Williams
Participating in the WHYY Young Journalists Camp pushed Elliot past his comfort zone and opened up the world of journalism.
“I’ve always liked writing because it’s a great way to express myself, but I wanted to move beyond that and learn about other people and write about them. That’s why I was interested in learning more about journalism. I thought this would be a great way to dive into it.
We divided into groups and went out into the city and interviewed people to get ideas for our own piece. I got to see the city in a whole different light. We came back and talked about ideas and editors from WHYY helped us decide on topics and told us the ideas they would use if they did the story. We decided to do our story on a woman called Rosie who sells roses under the overpass at 6th and Vine because we felt she had the most character and people would be able to relate. We divided up the roles—sound person, interviewer, editor, writer, videographer—and made sure we had good time management. Then we went out and interviewed Rosie and came back and edited the story. I also wrote up the story as part of a story writing group.
Through this experience I got to be so much more curious and step out of my little box. That was one of my goals in 9th grade, to step out of my box, so this program was really helpful. At first when I was interviewing people I kind of stuttered or didn’t have the right camera angle or whatever, but as you go along you get more used to it and more comfortable. It made me interested in the culture of the city and it made me see that you can dig deep into different parts of the city and find really great stories.
Now, when I’m deciding what I want to do I’ll definitely remember this and have some real knowledge about journalism to go on as opposed to just guessing about it. Before I did this I was kind of afraid, since I’d never done anything like it before. Now I’ve done it I know I can do it.”