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Pinellas County mom adds Journalism 101 to kids syllabus during COVID-19

Family journalism
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 17:32:56-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla — If you were a parent with school-aged kids in 2020, learning how to teach them subjects you haven’t seen in years was probably challenging. One local mother added her expertise to the curriculum.

Desiree Rotenberg’s son broke that news to her during a study session.

“He was not impressed with my science skills,” she said. “He basically said mom why don’t you know this stuff? What do you actually know?”

Journalism! For about 5 years she reported the news in cities across the country.

“From a young age, I was like really into the news. I think it was because my dad watched so much news and I thought what an amazing thing to be able to tell the stories that are someday gonna be history,” she said.

That conversation with her son Ryder sparked an idea and it included all three of her kids, a camera, and a mic.

“Since mom is a photojournalist, she decided to add another class for us,” said Bree Rotenberg, in a package they shot and edited. “We learned how to interview shoot and edit. We interviewed our friends to see how virtual learning is going,” Ryder continued.

Rotenburg says her daughter Bree is a natural on camera, her two sons are a bit shyer.

“I liked the interviewing because that’s really fun, you get to learn more about people or the people you’re interviewing,” Bree said.

One thing all three are still perfecting — their editing skills.

“Let’s cut that out,” Ryder said, pointing at the computer screen.

Spoken like a true professional — every shot counts when you only get a minute 30 to tell a story.

“I have so much respect for the field of news because it’s not just telling the happy fun stories it’s the stories where the powerful people are being held accountable.,” Rotenberg said.

And that’s why passing on these skills to her kids is so important — even though both boys seem to be leaning towards becoming youtube personalities. Bree wants to be on the big screen but says maybe down the road a journalism career is something to consider.

“I feel like maybe an actress is something I wanna do at age 20 or under and then when I’m like 30 I can be a journalist,” she said laughing. “I can do both!”

Hey, even Jay, Desiree’s youngest, knows news CAN be, “100% fun!”

Watch their full story below:

Kosoy Virtual 2021-05.mp4 from Déjà View Photography (DVP) on Vimeo.