CHS Introduces Broadcast Journalism Elective


Jacob Clark '21 and Jack Lilley '20, Staff Writers

This past November, Mr. Wilson, Ms. Coker, and the TV Production class unveiled their first edition of “CHS TV”, a video broadcast that features student anchors and which will replace the morning announcements on Fridays.

The goal of the show is to inform students about school news via a morning announcement segment that mirrors the typical news broadcast. Students from the elective play several roles, from shooting and producing to writing and hosting. Ms. Coker hopes that everyone will get a turn at each and every position, whether it be in front of the camera or behind the scenes. The objectives of the class include teaching students more about what it is like to be a news anchor, introducing them to the basics of broadcast journalism, and providing a more visual take on the school’s everyday events.

“It’s a lot of work making these videos, a lot of different parts, different people, different managers and camera people,” Senior Zachary Mackiewicz stated. “Students in the class have realized that there are a lot of new skills being established, and they need to know how to manage their time and communicate with one another.”

Each week, the students in the class are tasked with preparing a show that will present the information typically shared in the morning announcements. This offers a space for the class to showcase their understanding of the medium, as well as allows for the student body to receive information in a different way. Because of school wide problems with live streaming, the show is streamed from a Youtube link that is shared with teachers Friday morning. While the segment is prerecorded, the recording is “live-to-tape”, which means that student anchors read their cues, watch each segment, and continue on despite mistakes as if they were on live television. This creates a genuine experience for both the students involved and the audience.

This unique recording process was made possible because of a new technology initiative this year that saw several major changes in STEM education across the district. At the high school, the major change was the introduction of a brand new TV studio, including a state-of-the-art, multi-camera set-up.

“We can now pre-plan for a real live-to-tape, as if it is a real show,” Mr. Wilson explained. “This is a completely different skill set and environment, made possible because of equipment we haven’t had in recent years.”

Besides the typical morning announcement information, students can expect different segments each week. So far, the elective has showcased “Ask The Staff” and “This Day In History”, but students assure that there will be new segments in the coming weeks.

“We have different types of segments such as the “Morning Announcements”, interviewing teachers, “Would You Rather, “Hidden Talents” and other different segments,” Senior Cam Horsely shared.

Mr. Wilson, who has been in charge of Cinnaminson’s TV program for many years, and Ms. Coker, a second year teacher who handles many of the high school’s technology initiatives, are excited about the prospect of the new program. Last year, the two created the elective from scratch, crafting the class from the ground up by writing curriculum, organizing students, and producing a brand new medium.

“We are really trying to invent something that never existed before. Like every year you go to your elective and they’ve already existed when you get there and the teacher knows what they’re doing and there is a plan. There was no plan in place,” Mr. Wilson said.

While the task of creating a class is strenuous, both teachers are excited about the future of the program. They shared that although the experience of being in front of a camera is new for the students involved, the class as a whole can learn and grow as they go.
This means that the videos will evolve as the year goes on, and students who are novices can learn to craft their passions.

“It’s a collaborative process where we come together and we just talk about our ideas, what we envision, and to communicate with each other,” Ms. Coker explained.