Documentaries showcase journalism students talent


Florida A&M’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication will present its biannual J-School Journals: “Untold Stories” on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium.

The event will feature a series of 15-minute documentaries, which give insight into issues that are not usually discussed in society. These documentaries touch on issues ranging from the need to belong to the struggles of being a plus-sized woman.

Each documentary has been written, filmed, produced and edited by broadcast journalism students. 

Kenneth Jones, a broadcast journalism professor and event coordinator for J-School Journals, has been holding this event since 2007.

Jones said he is eager to see the turnout. As usual, he hopes to see more of the community in attendance, but with the event being held before finals, he wants to see more students attend as well.

“These documentaries are definitely worthy of a bigger venue,” Jones said. “The seating arrangement in Lee Hall gives us the space to showcase our most talented seniors’ work to as many people as possible.”

One of the documentaries being shown, “The Need to Belong” by Aaron Tillman, a senior broadcast journalism student from Colorado Springs, Colo., shares the story of a few students’ journeys on their way to finding themselves and fulfilling their need to belong. 

Having been part of the Marching “100,” Tillman was initially looking into the issue of hazing.

But while filming the documentary, Tillman said, “I realized there was an even bigger issue than hazing, and that was the need to fit in.”

This documentary shows how far some people will go to fit in. It also magnifies a feeling that many take for granted – the feeling of belonging.

“I believe this film will expose the universal feelings of wanting to belong,” said Kierra King, a videographer for the documentary. “Since we interviewed students from both FAMU and FSU, viewers will be able to see this is not only an issue at FAMU. It’s an issue at all schools.” 

Other documentaries include “Minority Pool,” by Bria Bennett and Amanda Legros; “Love Plus,” by Alexandria Collins and Erickson Joseph; and “Invisible Prey,” by Kristen Swilley and Brandon McMullen. 

After the main features, a series of  “Obama mini-docs” will be presented as well, giving varied perspectives of President Barack Obama and his performance as president. Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions after each documentary.