Journalism Boot Camp Gives Students Chance to Learn from Pros

Ryan MarinStaff Writer

 The 17th annual Observer Journalism Boot Camp will be held on Feb. 11t via Zoom.

This boot camp allows students to participate in various workshops led by professionals in the communication field, receive feedback on their work, discuss journalism and news media with journalists currently working in the industry, and ask any questions they may have about the challenges and unique opportunities provided by working in this field.

With the rise of Covid, the boot camps the past two years have been done remotely. 

While remote events have a unique set of challenges, holding the event over zoom has its benefits, says Jennifer Shapiro, Coordinator of Student Publications at Broward College. 

With the convenience of Zoom, speakers do not have to be local to South Florida; they can simply call in from anywhere around the world. This offers students the opportunity to speak with guests they would not have had the opportunity to speak with otherwise.

The speakers for the 2022 bootcamp include Adam Thompson from the Wallstreet Journal, Lauren Fyke, Public Relations executive with JM Lexus, and Broward College and Observer alumni Jossie Carbonare, reporter at WPBF Channel 25 News, with other speakers possibly announced later. 

Carbonare found great value in the boot camp she attended 15 years ago when she was a BC student, as the event inspired her to stay in the journalism field. 

“I brought a brand-new notepad to my first boot camp and left with it entirely full of writing and notes,” she said. “I used it as a reference point for a long time and I still have it in storage somewhere. I learned so much at these boot camps.”

Carbonare also looks back fondly on her time with the Observer, as learning how to work under deadlines helped prepare her for her current job in television news.  

This boot camp is geared towards allowing students the opportunity to discover a love for journalism they may not  know they had as well as giving them an insight into a variety of professions they can have in the field of journalism, and also network, said Shapiro.

“I hope students take advantage of the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field and network with them. You never know where the connections you make today will lead you in the future,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro recalls that during previous boot camps, former students made connections with speakers, which led to some of them getting internships at CBS News and a magazine.

Aside from the Annual Journalism Boot Camp, the Observer also hosts a weekly Observer Workshop Series, featuring more speakers in the communication and journalism field. 

Last semester,some of the speakers included Deb Wilker from the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Magazine; Brittany Wallman from the Sun-Sentinel, and Katrice Graham from UF’s College of Journalism.

This semester, some of the speakers include Dave Hyde, sports reporter with the Sun-Sentinel and Sun-Sentinel photographer, Joe Cavaretta.

For a schedule of the upcoming boot camp and Zoom link, or to find out about the Observer Workshop Series, please email Shapiro at

Madeline Fox from WLRN News speaks at the Journalism Boot Camp in February, 2020. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Shapiro

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