USA Today reports on the Travel Channel Academy's four-day bootcamp for videojournalism training.
Approximately 30-40 wannabe travel reporters -- many who've never even handled a camera before -- fork over $2,000 tuition (airfare/hotel and equipment rental not included) to learn video shooting and editing basics from veteran TV producer Michael Rosenblum, and to meet and mingle with Travel Channel execs.
The goal of the crash course is to produce short videos (under three minutes) for potential distribution on the Travel Channel website.
But whether more videos of spring-breakers getting drunk in Cancun or tourists eating pastrami on rye in a New York deli, or even a two-minute account of "my trip to Costa Rica by land and sea" (a current TCA alumni pick hit on the website) brings more clarity or just more clutter is debatable.
"We're not doing investigative journalism. We're doing show-me-the-best-restaurant-in-your-town journalism," says Rosenblum.
Students have diverse career backgrounds; virtually none are photographers or journalists.
Of the 953 graduates since the course began two years ago, about 350 of their videos have been bought by the Travel Channel, the vast majority for its website... for anywhere between $50 and $2,000, depending on usage and quality.
April 27-30, Santa Barbara, CA
May 14-17, New York, NY
May 28-31, Washington, DC
June 25-28, Santa Barbara, CA
July 09-12, Washington, DC
July 23-26, New York, NY
Sept 10-13, Washington, DC
Sept 24-27, New York, NY
More info: TravelChannelAcademy.com