St. Edmond starts broadcast journalism class

St. Edmond High School students are making the news with their broadcast journalism class.

The course, started this semester, allows students to make news pieces that are played through the school and posted via YouTube on the school’s website.

“We cover things like human interest pieces about things going on in the building, things that are happening in the Fort Dodge community, SE sports,” Tyler Philipsen, St. Edmond instructor, said. “We talked a little bit about the Ampride (All-Round Travel Center) fire in our most recent episode.”

Students serve different roles in the productions, Philipsen said, including anchors, editors, writers and crew.

“We’re just finishing up with episode four and we’re trying to put together, every episode, a better one than the last a school news program,” he said.

Even if they don’t appear on camera, students still get air time.

“Each do their own podcasts, where they interview somebody and talk about a topic,” Philipsen said. “I post those on my website and then the school news is put on the school website, as well as my own, and it also runs continuously without sound on the TV by the office.”

Through the course, students are becoming more adept at using media technology.

“The students are really using their laptops quite a bit now, especially our editor is learning the finer points of iMovie,” Philipsen said. “In addition, we have a nicer Canon camera we use for filming the anchors in the studio, and there are two (General Electric) cameras that are smaller to take pictures for their articles or take short videos at sporting events or things outside school hours.”

According to Philipsen, the course integrates many of the lessons they receive in an English class.

“The big thing is it combines writing, because they write their articles ahead of time. They have to collaborate with one another, which is something they’re going to have to do for the rest of their lives, whatever career they pick. The speaking part of it,” he said. “And then research, learning how to find good sources and figuring out what a good source is.”

Philipsen said he is pleased to see his students so engaged in the weekly effort.

“They’ve thrown themselves into this wholeheartedly and know what we want as a finished product. There’s also this determination to do it well and put a good product out,” he said. “As a teacher I’m living the dream right now, because I get to see students learning and we’re having fun while we do it.”