David Schecter Engages Students With Crash Course In Reporting

WFAA reporter introduces students to journalistic writing

March 2, 2022

When I walked into the classroom, a confident speaker and a lively audience quickly caught my interest. 

It was David Schecter, a reporter for WFAA, leading an entertaining workshop class during LitFest which succeeded in explaining the basics of reporting to students. 

Schecter began by explaining how to structure a story as a reporter and asked the class for some ideas for a story thesis. 

The students asked questions and were engaged. He was that kind of speaker that the audience’s eyes would follow where he went. When he walked to the left, their eyes would go to the left, and when he walked to the right, their eyes walked to the right. You could tell the students were interested and they weren’t just staring at their desks, waiting for the class to be over.

Students also voluntarily spoke out without having Schecter awkwardly pull out answers from the students. They suggested current events in the community, in the school and in the world, like the situation in Ukraine. 

The class eventually chose “Ice on parking garage creates inconvenience at Highland Park” as their thesis to work with. Schecter took the opportunity to point out that the thesis should cover all the points of the story, and if it does not, it is okay to change it. 

 He then explained how you should expand on the original idea by talking about the conditions of the story, such as who was affected. In the class’s example, the ice impacted LitFest speakers and volunteers. He made sure to prevent students from making the mistake of going too broad, however, by instructing us to narrow the story so that it’s focused.

He emphasized that people should next write supporting paragraphs that relate to the thesis. As a helpful time-saving tip that came from personal experience, Schecter said for any type of writing, you should think through your paragraphs and plan where you want to go with the story.

Schecter also showed the class a few of his videos on the YouTube channel Verify Road Trip, where WFAA uploads to garner a larger audience. These videos show him actually on the road and reporting. It was cool to see videos of what reporting looks like in real life because “reporter” can be a vague term and some might not know what it actually entails. He also made being a reporter seem entertaining, which makes listening to him more exciting.

Schecter gave ideas of possible theses and supporting paragraphs for the videos, which I think elevated his presentation because it gave us a way to apply the skills he just taught us to more scenarios, other than the one the class just came up with. The videos also added a touch of his personality because he made them himself.

Schecter made the classroom a comfortable environment and his passion and energy lit up the room. The confidence and articulation in his tone made it more enjoyable for his audience.

He wasn’t timid when presenting to the class. He was just being himself, and it did not feel rehearsed like many presentations I’ve heard in the past.

After listening to Schecter’s workshop for a class period, I was not just reminded how to properly structure and organize writing, but was also entertained by him and his reporting videos. I’d love to see him return for next year’s LitFest workshops.

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