A new way of getting the school news

October 15, 2007

This year, DC-TV replaces the DC Current newspaper

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Every Friday morning, the high school goes silent as students and staff tune in to watch the DC High School news.

The 10-minute segment of DC-TV features school news like the former DC Current newspaper, did except now, through a different medium.

Approximately 15 students write, film, produce, and edit the entire broadcast every week. The program is advised by Paul Beckermann, the high school media specialist.

Although Beckermann had a hard time letting go of the print version, he understands this is the format that fits the way students get their news nowadays, he said.

While newsprint still provides much greater depth of information, according to Beckermann, DC-TV allows for more timely and immediate coverage of the news, he said.

“With the DC Current, we only published every six weeks, so the news could get a little dated,” he said.

The program offers an extension to previous experiences students had with the middle school’s version, “Unplugged.”

“The middle school has done a great job with their broadcast. DC-TV now allows the high school students to build on that initial experience and take it to the next level,” Beckermann said.

Each week, students work hard to produce a program that is both informative and entertaining, according to Beckermann.

Stories recently aired include new parking permit requirements, new principal Dean Jennissen, deputy Drew Sherber, homecoming coronation, activity highlights, and the Charger Closet. The show also tries to add in some fun features like “Guess That Senior.”

“Students have responded very well to DC-TV. They look forward to it every Friday,” he said.

Several of the students involved in DC-TV have completed the school’s journalism and news media courses, taught by Brian Johnson.

“Mr. Johnson does a great job teaching the skills of journalism in that class. It provides a great foundation for DC-TV,” Beckermann said.

DC-TV is an extracurricular activity, similar to the newspaper.

Some students do much of the work after school while other students work on it as an independent study class during the day.

These students work in combination with each other to put the episode together each week, Beckermann said.

“This activity is a great way for students to pursue their interest in news media. They not only learn to produce a quality program, but they also learn the limitations and benefits of the TV media,” he said.

Although Beckermann regrets the school is unable to continue the newspaper at school due to lack of student interest, he is thankful they are still able to let the school news continue in some format.

Both print news and TV news require complex thinking, quality writing skills, interpersonal communication, and problem solving, according to Beckermann.

The only difference with the TV version is students are now using different tools to produce the final product, he said.

“Students are very interested in video production. They have grown up with this technology and feel very comfortable using it,” he said.

Whether or not students’ experience with DC-TV sparks an interest to pursue a career in this field, it does give them an opportunity to use that medium to learn valuable communication skills, according to Beckermann.

Students aired their first show after only nine days of school. Since then, they’ve put out a show every five days.

In order to do this, they need to demonstrate a great deal of commitment and a quality work ethic – qualities that are important in any aspect of life, Beckermann said.

“The students have done a really nice job with this in a very short amount of time,” Beckermann said.

The staff and administration have been very supportive of the program as well, according to Beckermann.

Juniors Kendra Grangroth and Karl Koivisto are the anchors for DC-TV. Senior Matt Christ films the anchors Wednesdays or Thursdays each week.

The show is then edited, which takes approximately one hour for one minute of finished product, according to Beckermann.

“Karl and Kendra have done a very nice job anchoring the broadcast. They present a professional show, but they also allow their fun personalities to shine through. It’s a very effective combination,” Beckermann said.

The professional quality video camera used for the production was paid for through a Best Buy Teach Award Beckermann won last year.

DC-TV has not added any additional expenses to the district, he said.

In fact, the show could potentially be cheaper than the print version in the long run since there are no longer printing costs, according to Beckermann.