“It’s great because I’m bringing fun and enthusiasm to everyone else in the school,” she said. “Plus, I like to be involved! But if I was a real news anchor, I’d be terrified, because the whole world would be watching me!”
For high school students, that widespread attention is sometimes the goal. With student-run news programs at ITC, Nottingham and PSLA at Fowler, students work within a full news studio setup to produce daily newscasts that are broadcast throughout the entire school.
Nottingham students in Bryan English’s Introduction to Media Communications class spend an entire semester producing the school’s daily announcements. Every five weeks, they rotate through different positions: graphic designer, photographer, writer, reporter, editor, teleprompter operator, anchor, sound/lighting, camera operator and director.
Senior John Dacosta said he signed up for the course because he has an interest in broadcasting. “I know it’s a challenging job and the market to find a job is pretty small,” he explained. “I figured this class would expose me to things I would need if I were to pursue this as a career.”
Classmate Danajah Riley also appreciated the practical experience the class provided. “My cousin is a reporter, so I was inspired to learn more about the field,” she said. “Being an anchor was my favorite. It gave me a chance to have the feel of being in front of the camera and how I can improve. It was challenging to have to interview people and write our own scripts, but this is definitely something I’d like to learn more about!”
For ITC students in the Digital Multimedia program, their experience in broadcast journalism is even more in-depth. Last year, the students studied an introduction to media communications. This year, they are learning about newscasts, and next year they will study advanced media communications.
Students at ITC work in two teams and rotate through roles producing newscasts twice a week. At the beginning of the year, students had a whole week to put together a newscast.
“I want to be a sound engineer one day,” junior Malik Clarke explained. “This program is great because if sound engineering doesn’t work out, I can always fall back into broadcasting. Some schools have journalism classes where they learn from books. My experience is hands-on learning. I can edit an iMovie, I can edit a script, I know how to handle recording. I’m ahead of the game!”
Classmate Adastee Grant said she also liked the career preparation aspect of the program. “It’s fun to record the news, be on camera and take pictures,” she said. “I’ve learned the importance of choosing the right stories for your audience. Plus, it gives me advanced experience if I want to be a videographer.”
At PSLA at Fowler, the morning announcements are just starting back up, after students worked on a complete overhaul of the studio set. While some of the Introduction to Media Communications students say their primary interest isn’t in the news industry, they say they are still gaining valuable skills from the experience.
“I’m really interested in working with photography,” junior Rousie Vazquez explained. “Doing the news has taught me about camera angles and things I would need to know working in the field.”
Classmate Aujuan Mason had a similar take. “I’m interested in sound and music,” he said. “Doing the news has helped me learn to use the sound equipment and I’veeven learned how to make my own sounds.”