Nineteen journalism and broadcasting students in the Introduction to Mass Communications class experienced first-hand what they might find in the workplace during their recent field trip to The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City.
OCCC graduate Clytie Bunyan, a 25-year employee of The Oklahoman, led the tour through the immense building.
She is director of Business and Lifestyles.
“We are always excited to welcome OCCC students into the building,” Bunyan said.
“It gives them a chance to see how things really work around here.”
The group was walked through many areas of the building beginning with the enormous print shop where papers are printed at the rate of hundreds of copies per minute.
The monstrous printing factory was filled with massive pieces of machinery that left some students in awe.
“It was unlike anything I have ever experienced,” said diversified studies major Leah Sweet. “I couldn’t believe how powerful it all felt.”
The tour then continued upward through a winding maze of staircases and hallways to different departments of the newspaper.
Students were allowed to speak with writers and ask questions.
“I found it interesting that many of the writers had their AP stylebooks on their desks,” said broadcasting major Keegan Parrish.
“It was a shock to me that they still reference their grammatical books at this level.”
After a few questions with the writers, Bunyan took the students into a conference room where the front page stories of the newspaper are selected by discussion and negotiations among the editors.
“We find it important to hold each other highly accountable,” Bunyan said, “as you can see in front of you.”
She gestured toward the table occupied by several old newspapers with red markings scattered across them.
The newspapers contained comments and amendments from other writers, some of which were not so delicately expressed.
On one of the newspapers, a headline had been circled with bold red letters, stating “Lack of creativity and boring!”
This emphasized Bunyan’s point with the students about accountability.
“The value of the field trip is that students actually get to visit where they might end up working,” said professor Gwin Faulconer-Lippert.
“That way they aren’t shocked when arriving in the work environment and realize it’s a lot of work and not all fun like it seems on the air.”
Sweet said the experience was worthwhile.
“It was the most learning I have done outside the classroom in a long time,” Sweet said. “I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience!”
For more information, contact Faulconer-Lippert at firstname.lastname@example.org.