Palo Alto Online launches video academy

Citizen Journalist Academy offered in conjunction with Media Center

Palo Alto Online is looking for residents interested in joining our team in covering community issues and events on video.

We've partnered with the Media Center and are offering a four-week Citizen Journalist Academy to teach video production and reporting skills, after which participants would be ready to produce videos for community access television and Palo Alto Online.

Hands-on classes begin Saturday morning, June 4, and continue on the following dates: Tuesday evenings (7-10 p.m.) June 7, 14, 21 and 28; and Saturday morning (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) June 11. Field shoots will be conducted the weekend of June 18-19, per the participants' schedules.

Those enrolled will learn to use video cameras, audio equipment and how to edit video on the computer. They'll also learn how to plan and produce video segments. Open to anyone older than 16. Participant fee is $215.

Once trainees complete the program, they'll become community correspondents, be eligible to use Media Center video equipment and produce and submit videos to Palo Alto Online. In joining Palo Alto Online's team, online video correspondents will cover community events, conduct interviews and produce short video features about things going on in the Palo Alto community.

Those interested in applying to participate in the June academy should send an email containing a brief description of interest and background to Please include your full name, address, phone number and how long you have lived in the Palo Alto area.

Community Bloggers/Online Columnists

In addition to video journalists, Palo Alto Online is expanding its number of online community bloggers. Those who have a passion or expertise, or are just an opinionated resident with thoughts to share about life in Palo Alto, are welcome to apply to become a blogger on Palo Alto Online.

Writers selected as featured bloggers will receive a monthly payment, will be promoted on Palo Alto Online and in the Palo Alto Weekly and are expected to make regular postings at least once a week. Non-paid bloggers may become featured bloggers by generating a high number of page views and comments on their blog.

For more information, email or call Tyler Hanley, online editor, at 650-326-8210.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Bad idea
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm

If PA Weekly were being thoughtful about editing for factual correctness, I wouldn't object. But you don't. You consistently let people print opinion as though it is fact(anonymously, no less), stirring up anger based on misinformation.

This site does a HUGE disservice to the community...and now you are exacerbating that problem.

Healthy civic dialogue requires that people put their names on their work. It keeps them honest. There is nothing healthy about what happens on this site.

I'd sign my name, but I'd be the only one, and the carmudgeons would anonymously throw daggers at me. What an ugly, dysfunctional environment you have created here.

Like this comment
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm

While I agree with the gist of your comment, Bad Idea, in that much of what is posted on Town Square is extremely nasty, I don't think this Academy, as it is envisioned, will be like the anonymous crank posters we see here so much.

I think if you're to be a "featured blogger" you will need to have more to offer than constant complaining about city staff

Like this comment
Posted by huh?
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm

As long time PA Online subscriber & active participant in community forums, I applaud your effort to provide enhanced coverage of local issues and implement interactive participation in local issues.

Assume effective business model as well. Attract advertisers, other revenue streams?

Puzzling to me why you charge a fee to a group you need to implement your goals. Seems counterintuitive

Like this comment
Posted by huh?
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm

disagree with Bad idea re disservice to the community. My experience with PA online has been great. I often personally disagree with the parties whose issues are reported. PA Online is the messenger, not the party to the issue.

The ability to express one's opinion not only generates dialogue, it often results in expanding perspective through feedback; encourages consensus - no matter which side one takes; ideally such collaboration appears to influence decision makers.

PA Online has reported those policy changes. That's exciting stuff.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details