The loss of technology compelled students to be more collaborative and engaged. When 35mm film gave them a 36-shot limit, they took more care with each frame. When they banged out stories on typewriters, they stopped and considered each sentence before committing it to paper. It was slower, more difficult and much more frustrating, but it taught them to exercise the human muscles behind journalism, and not to rely so much on the automated crutches.
This kind of experience doesn’t make a journalist, but it makes a talented journalist more
nimble and creative.
The actual idea of building a newspaper the old-fashioned way is dumb. It took them three weekends to pull this off, when it should have taken an afternoon with InDesign. But the idea that they had to think more about their craft is profound.
It’s really easy to pop off 1,000 mindless shots with a DSLR. But that leads to a lot of really bad shots and wasted time. Good photojournalism is about craft and love. Perhaps students need to learn to walk before they can run with the latest digital tools?