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Gina Gayle

04: Jan 2012

Gina Gayle is a photojournalist who teaches photojournalism and multimedia, currently in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi teaching photojournalism and multimedia. Previously Ms. Gayle worked in New York City as a freelance photojournalist with such as The New York Times, The Associated Press, Newsday, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Ebony Magazine, WireImage and USNewswire. She was hired at the San Francisco Chronicle after completing the two-year Hearst Journalism Fellowship Program, which included rotations in Texas, Michigan, upstate New York and San Francisco.

Ms. Gayle holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati and an M. A. in Arts, Entertainment and Media Management from Columbia College Chicago. Ms. Gayle is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, most recently the NABJ Gulf Coast Fellowship, allowing her to continue documenting the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans as the organization rebuilds. Her next project focuses on photographing foster children in Mississippi waiting for forever families in order to help them gain they exposure needed to match them with an adoptive family.

Gina participated in the January 2012 MediaStorm Methodology Workshop. She had the following to say about her experience:

Being back in the classroom a full week and having had time to go over my notes and my week at MediaStorm allowed me to fully digest what I actually experienced.

When I was preparing for the workshop I am not sure I knew exactly what it was going to be like. I felt we would learn valuable information and get a look into how MedaStorm does the work that you do. There was no way that I could have imagined that you would literally open up and give us everything you did, so freely and graciously. I literally wrote in my notes the second day, that "he is giving us the keys to the kingdom…….this is his way of saving journalism." I am going to take those keys and pass them along to anyone who will use them wisely.

When I started teaching multimedia storytelling, I told my students that this is their chance to change journalism, re-create and mold it because there is so much possibility out there and people in the industry need and want direction. I am still on my MediaStorm Methodology Workshop High and it showed as I returned to my classes this week. As I told you, we use the MediaStorm projects as our homework, research and tutorials in my classes so the students were excited to see what I had brought back. My getting to go to this workshop was similar to a star studded event for them as well as for me. I will tell you this, when I came back to the classes I felt and saw an immediate shift in how I teach. My students also noticed it and are ready for the new journey. I know you wanted a quote from me but here are a few things from them: "It's nice to have a professor who is re-energized." "Teach me everything they taught you." and "Do they have a workshop for students, I want to go." They understand the importance of great storytelling and I am hoping some of them will go on to be just that.

Understanding the Methodology of how you work helps me to understand why you choose the projects you do, which in turn is allowing me to think about using multimedia storytelling across a multitude of businesses. I also teach Digital Storytelling for graduate Intergrated Marketing Communication students, who have said that thinking creatively or in a storytelling manner, makes them better at their advertising and PR campaigns. I have shared the MediaStorm site with them for reference and now it gives them a foundation to see what a project can be used for.

Another marvelous attribute of this workshop was being able to work, talk and brainstorm with my classmates for the week. I think we had such a diverse group that added to the ability to see how storytelling works across so many businesses and genres. As we all could feel our own minds ticking away we also got to see everyone's else's ideas manifest right there in the room. Each person in the workshop seemed to have the same awakenings and was excited to talk about the possibilities in their own line of work or even in their own country! That was amazing in itself. I have been wanting to come to a MediaStorm workshop for years however I feel this was the exact one I was meant to be in with the people I met during the week.

I think the most powerful and personal thing I will take away is how to use it for my personal projects. We talk "multimedia" and we think about it but now I have a firmer grasp on how to use it for projects and the wide reach that a great multimedia story can have. As still photographers, we were always relegated to a few images at most and now we can use multimedia to get exposure on platforms, websites or through business ventures that we were not privy to before. When I wrote you were giving us the keys to the kingdom I really meant it.

Thank you for all you do and showing us the way to do it.