Alice Scott: Multimedia journalist of the year portfolio


Dave Winter

Señora Telvi Altamirano Cancino, a.k.a Señora A, teaches her fourth-period Spanish class, which on this Monday had three in-person students and the rest on Zoom. Altamirano started the class by apologizing for the fact that her students could not see her because her camera was not working, but she stayed upbeat, encouraging her students to speak up and take risks throughout the class.

Alice Scott, staff reporter

I love to tell stories. For many people, that means writing a complex tale by weaving words strategically together to show off the author’s talent. But I don’t see it that way. I like to tell stories about people, for people, in the most compelling way I can think of. And while I do find much comfort in pen and paper, there are often other — more personal — ways to tell stories.

Alice Scott

I enjoy multimedia journalism because it enhances the experience for an audience. That is ultimately our job as journalists — to inform the public. Although this was only my first year as a member of the McCallum Shield newspaper staff, I believe I fulfilled this role by creating content with multiple different media elements that elevated our work and better brought to life the stories of our school community.

As the lone freshman on a primarily print-based newspaper staff, with prior experience in broadcast journalism, it only made sense to expand my skills into becoming a multimedia journalist. 

I started off writing stories for our print issues and creating videos for our website. But quickly I realized that I could combine the two to create a better online package that gave our readers a deeper experience. From there I began creating stories with companion videos. Soon, I jumped to interactive online exclusives that utilized tools such as hyperlinks, slideshows and embedded content. 

While working with a focus on providing journalism in different formats, I was not only able to grow my own abilities, but I was also able to better provide information to my school. I learned to analyze the stories I had written or the topics I had been assigned for a way to make them more diverse in how they were presented. In an unusual year where our school community was fractured by the pandemic, I learned creative ways to conduct interviews — from Zoom to Instagram DM — troubleshooting and finding the best ways to fill my stories with authentic student voices.

 I gained knowledge of new technologies, like WordPress, to build a multimedia user experience for our online news site through feature profiles and breaking news. I gained a better understanding of how to provide objective information for an audience, by citing and hyperlinking sources to show authenticity as well as offer readers an opportunity to more deeply explore the facts surrounding a story.

I took photos, made videos, wrote stories, and created infographics. I widened my ability to do what I love — telling stories — and utilizing the best of various mediums in a way that allowed our readers to better connect with my storytelling 

  • Voting for the first time with humanity in her heart In the fall, we did a number of pieces on the election, but most focused on voter registration and student involvement. This traditional broadcast package allowed me to tell the story of McCallum teacher Telvi Altamirano Cancino who voted in the election for the first time as a U.S citizen. The personal interview allowed students to connect with a school community member who was part of a key demographic in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Stepping up as leaders Originally I was assigned to cover girls basketball for a print story, but after conducting the first round of interviews, I found a compelling story that I knew could be brought to life for an online audience. The multimedia package included an in-depth feature, a broadcast package and a photo gallery with captions from the season. Rather than focusing on one particular athlete or game, this story showcases the very best of team sports when players come together and support one another.
The seven Republicans and one Democrat who represent the city of Austin in Congress were evenly split on objecting to the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. (Alice Scott)
  • How did your legislators respond to Jan 6. events? As a high school journalism program, we often only learn about relevant breaking news when it has been covered by someone else. In an effort to get objective and reliable information out to our school community after the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, I streamlined localized information about Texas Legislators to provide students with credible facts about a complex and continually evolving story. I created an infographic to clearly convey information and wrote a complementary article that utilized hyperlinks and embedded content to allow readers draw their own conclusions about this historic event. 


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  • MacTheatre’s production of ‘Clue’ opens on outdoor stage A significant part of the McCallum Journalism presence can be attributed to our social media performance. It is our most popular and easily accessible news outlet for students, teachers, and families in the McCallum community. This photo gallery and in depth caption showcased the opening weekend of Clue: Live on Stage as performed by the MFAA Theatre Program as they returned to pandemic-friendly, in-person events.

  • A COVID-19 Year in the Life at Mac The biggest story of the school year centered around the COVID-19 pandemic which became real for Austin citizens on March 12, 2020 when school was cancelled and the city was placed on lockdown. By weaving the interviews together and telling a shared narrative — a technique I had used with success to cover student opinions about the 46th presidential inauguration —  this video package sought to reflect upon a life-changing year in a pandemic through the eyes of McCallum students. As team leader, I organized interviews for my classmates and acted as writer, reporter and video editor on this project.