Behind the Scenes of our High School News Show
The FLVS Full Time High School “Mega News Network” is our very own virtual Student Television Network. High school members of our club form part of the crew, creating and producing pre-recorded materials that include interviews, video spotlights, and vlogs to be broadcast during our livestreamed news show. If you attend FLVS Full Time, find more information about joining here.
At the Mega News Network studio, you will not hear the clicks and clacks of camera equipment or the rustle of papers as scripts are passed around. And you will never hear “Quiet on the set!” as we get ready to go on air. The conversations of our producers, anchors, journalists, and video editors happen in the “virtualverse” through email, chat, and virtual meetings in our Backboard Collaborate newsroom.
The way our cast members can jump from anchoring one day, to writing and shooting a story the next, would probably not make much sense to a traditional school news crew where every student has an assigned role. However, our FLVS cast members see a lot of value in being able to fill different roles for our show.
Maya Washburn, one of our cast members and the 2017 FLVS Clubs Student of the Year, had this to say, “I enjoy being able to fill in different roles for the show because it allows me to think outside the box and experience new things. I can see what it’s like to produce, write, edit, or anchor all within the bounds of this club. I love that MNN challenges me to keep an open mind and continue to expand my journalistic skills.”
Our news show airs the first Monday of every month. It is formatted very much like a TV news program with a news segment where our anchors deliver our school news. In addition, students produce fun segments that include cooking, fashion, student spotlights, and interviews. And when we are not producing or broadcasting we are tweeting!
Our Twitter Editor-in-Chief Addison Fadlevich says, “Twitter gives our audience a look into the cast’s lives and a look into upcoming shows! If you follow us @FLVSMNNLive, you can participate in polls, share your ideas for future shows, and even learn tips about FLVS and life in general!”
This is what a typical production cycle for one of our shows looks like:
Week 1: Our show airs on the first Monday of the month. Cast members brainstorm ideas for the next show and sign up to begin pre-production the following Friday. The Executive Producer sends the “assignments email” to all cast members with items needed for the show.
Week 2: Students in each role receive materials to begin production from the Executive Producer. This may include photographic or video material, ads for upcoming events, scripts, etc. The Producer for each show monitors progress and works on developing segments.
Week 3: Segments are edited and prepared for approval. Student-journalists also turn in written companion materials to be published on the news page of our website with their video segments.
Week 4: Final touches to video segments are completed and anchors turn in their pre-recorded segments to be edited in the show. The show is previewed before it is uploaded to our streaming platform and ready for broadcast the following Monday.
Once our show is off the air, it goes to our Video on Demand (V.O.D.) archive where our audience can view and enjoy our shows anytime! In between shows, we provide training for our students. These include setting up their green screens or brushing up on basic photo and videography skills through learning videos on our club website or live virtual sessions. We also try to meet as a club face-to-face at least once a year.
In addition, we partner with other clubs – and not just to cross-promote! We are hoping to schedule video editing training with our Video Production Club this year. Our hope is that our students can exercise their creativity and learn new ways of expressing it. Some of our students also want to pursue a career in journalism. The Mega News Network offers these students an opportunity to test and develop their skills. Addison says, “I am learning how to come up with ideas very quickly and I get to watch them come to life. Journalism, writing, and television production are a few things that I hope to pursue later in life and working with this team of amazing people with the same interests helps me get a closer look into that world.”
When asked about what she has learned, Maya says, “I find myself endlessly learning in this club. MNN has enriched my knowledge of broadcast journalism especially, as I had not considered it as a possible future career path prior to joining. Journalism has always been my goal and the Mega News Network continues to encourage my passion through opportunities and experiences unique to this club. I would absolutely recommend MNN to any FLVS student. I truly believe it has something to offer for everyone.”
Want to watch our next show?
Tune in on February 4, 2018, at 12 p.m. at https://tinyurl.com/MNNLiveChat and chat live with our cast during the show!