Writing Wrongs: On Location needs professional advisors to volunteer their time to assist and mentor the students.  If you work in media, design, photography, videography, and other corresponding industries, or are a faculty member in appropriate departments at colleges and universities, please consider applying as a Program Advisor or Associate Advisor.
Note: Current students cannot apply to be advisors.

Okay. So you’re thinking about doing this thing, but you’re not sure exactly what to expect. Here are some answers that may help you decide. If you have questions that aren’t answered on this page, please contact Dawn at dawn@seekreporttruth.com. To succeed, the program needs mentors as much as it needs students.

What exactly is my role as a Program or Associate Advisor?

The roles of the Advisors are multifaceted, but your main job is to assist the students as they pursue their stories, videos, and pictures. Layout and design needs an experienced eye. Photographers need to edit and prepare suitable pictures for print and web. Writers will need advice on their story ledes and final edits in AP style. For the most part, you will hang out in the workroom to answer whatever questions arise. But the success of this intense program depends on everyone assisting where needed. To assure that everything runs smoothly, roles are assigned according to willingness and comfort level. Here are some examples of things you may be doing in addition to advising:

  • Advisors make sure that release forms are properly signed and collected and that students adhere to interviewees wishes (for example, if they agree to be interviewed but not photographed).
  • You may be asked to carpool some of the students to another nearby location for a specific event they want to cover, or to an interview location with the group.
  • You might help tidy the tables to prepare for the next meal when food is to be delivered.
  • You may be greeting interviewees as they arrive for their interview if you’re comfortable doing that.

When do I have to be there?

Program Advisors must be there for the entire program, which is Friday evening orientation dinner through Monday of Labor Day weekend. The program starts with dinner and orientation at approximately 5 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day; you will meet with the Staff (students) at this time. The program wraps up at approximately noon on Labor Day Monday. This is not a “get-away” weekend; Program Advisors are as immersed in the topic as the students. Program Advisors will be present for all speakers and any location visits so you can better assist the students with their work. In addition to being an advisor, you may be assigned an assistant role in one or more of the above-mentioned categories. There is always something that needs attention and Advisors/Assistants are expected to take an active role in ensuring an efficient and successful program.

Associate Advisors must volunteer for a minimum of 8 hours, which can be completed in one day or split between Saturday and Sunday. An itinerary will be provided and you will confirm your hours prior to the event. Your name will be included in the resulting publication as an Associate Advisor. Associate Advisors must attend the Friday evening orientation. They are welcome to attend any presentations or location visits included in the itinerary.

Note: Photography, videography, social media, and print design advisors are needed most during the day to assist those staff members. Writing advisors are needed the most during late afternoon and evening. The writing staff will be working on the articles late into the night, and they must meet with a Writing Advisor at least twice before submitting their work as final.

Preparation for program

Throughout the summer, topic-related information in print and possibly other types of media will be emailed to Advisors in order to prepare for this intense program. This information provides topic background, appropriate language, and contemplation, all of which will assist Advisors in helping the Staff with their respective tasks. The weekly time commitment for prep work is approximately 2 to 5 hours.

What is provided?

Advisors who don’t live in the immediate area (within an hour’s drive) are offered a hotel room, which you could be sharing with another advisor. This is determined by the number of advisors who require a room and Writing Wrongs’ budget allowances. You will be notified if sharing a room, and if you do not wish to share accommodations, you have the option to pay for your room at our group rate.

Lunch and dinner are provided throughout the program for Program Advisors and Associate Advisors.

Why should I do this?

There are many reasons. Do it because it serves the local community. You should do it because you will be helping future journalists report on an important and often overlooked societal issue. You will be helping to change attitudes about this issue and effect positive change. Do it because this is an opportunity to work with an amazing, motivated, passionate group of adults and students. Do it because it’s important. Do it to help tell the stories of those who never get to tell them. Do it because.

Where can I apply?

Advisor applications for the On Location program open in January and close on May 1. Submit this form to indicate your interest. You will be asked to provide your resume or CV and you’ll receive regular communication until the program date. Communication will continue over the summer, so please provide an email that you check regularly. For planning purposes, commitment to attend the program is needed by June 1. Put it on your calendar now.

We look forward to working with you!


Featured photo by Max Gondolfo, WW2017