Photo Essay – Writing Workshop

March 5 media workshop

The Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF), Averroes High School and MIST are partnering to host an interactive media workshop led by documentary producer David Washburn, and ISF Scholarship Recipients, Aliyah Mohammed and Zainab Khan.

This workshop aims to show participants the process of making photo essays, writing short stories and news reports and to submit the final work to local media outlets.


Each Eligible Applicant Must Be:

  • Register online and pay a $20 fee. Lunch and snack will be provided.
  • Interested in journalism and Media.
  • Committed to attending the entire workshop from 10am-5pm on March 5th, 2016;
  • High School student

FEE: $20 Includes lunch and snack Pay Here




David Washburn will open a discussion on photography and how it is used in contemporary journalism. We will draw lessons from successful photo essays and share how they impact viewers? We we’ll explore essential elements of photography, looking at new and old cameras, including smartphones. Students will team up to produce a short photo essay that we will review in class, learning what does / doesn’t work. Student will leave with knowledge of how to think creatively and tell a story through photography.



Description: Muslims and the media have had a tumultuous relationship, especially post-9/11. Now, more than ever, we need American Muslims critically engaging with and producing media. This workshop, geared towards high school  students, will prepare attendees to interact, engage, and become comfortable working with the media. We will discuss how Muslims and minority populations are presented in the media and what we can do to present our opinions and stories.

Session 1, Reflections on Islam, Muslims, and the Media

1. Basic Intros (Name, Age, HS, Something Different)
2. Two Truths & A Lie
3. Obstacle Course (Learning how to communicate)

1. Discussion Questions
a. How are Muslims portrayed in the media?
b. What is your relationship with the media? How do you consume media? What is your interaction with the media?
c. What would you like to change about how minorities/subjugated groups are presented in the media?
2. Breakout Group Activity
a. Break into small groups, have each person share an experience (positive and/or negative) they’ve had with the media
b. Discuss what politics, policies and institutions are in place that contribute to this being perpetuated in the media
3. Large Group Discussion/Takeaways
a. Share stories and insights from breakout groups
b. Takeaways we’re looking for:
i. Idea of gatekeepers (who are these people? Look for infographic)
ii. How we contribute (positively or negatively) to the media (show positive and negative examples)

Session 2, Learning to Create Media

  1. Discussion Questions
    a. What are some positive things that you or someone in your community is doing that would make a good news story? or that you would like to see on TV?
    b. How do you promote your story or your opinion? What resources are available?
  2. Learning to Storytell for Digital Media
  3. what resources are available to you?
  4. how must you think differently for every platform?
  5. Breakout Group Activity (Scenarios and Writing Exercise)

Write a profile of a business, organization, or person who is important to your community.

ii. Takeaways

1. Variety of ways to voice your opinions and to reach out to people in the media
2. Persistence/Following Up
3. Thinking Small and Big (local & national)

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