Is There a Future in Broadcast Video?

This article was posted in the Journalism Educator Association’s Digital Media Resources by Dan Goble and sent to us by Carl Arizpe of SchoolTube 
Each semester I poll my incoming Broadcast Technology students about why they are taking my course. Without fail, 95% of them tell me it’s either for the credit, or nothing else fit their schedule. I don’t mind hearing that response, because I know I will get a certain amount of them to get hooked. Hooked on collaborating with a team to produce a television show. Hooked on publishing their work to the web. Hooked on storytelling.So it wasn’t a surprise to me when a young Sophomore girl, will call her Abby, told me she was surprised at her interest in my class, but that it was “really fun and exciting,” she said.
Now Abby was an established writer, athlete, philanthropist, and outdoorsy kind of girl. And yet, when she first appeared on camera, I knew she would be adding another talent to her toolkit. Abby was confident, well spoken and interesting on camera, and I told her so. This seemed to motivate her, and for that I was proud.
This story got a bit more interesting however, when I first met Abby’s parents. They love and support their daughter to the Nth degree, but I couldn’t help but be taken aback by dad’s comment to me on the night of our first parent conference. He said, “This broadcast thing is great and all, but is there a future in it for Abby? Is there a future in broadcast video? We only want what’s best for her.”Not a truer statement could come from a parent. I know the feeling. As a parent, we are concerned for our kids and want what’s best for them. I spoke openly and honestly with her dad about the type of futures in broadcasting, and said, “Let’s support her passion and talents right now and see where they lead.”
The next year Abby continued to excel at broadcasting and telling incredible stories through the power of video. Abby visited a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and told a beautiful story of recovery, family and faith (Surviving Katrina She also told stories about inner city students receiving a unique opportunity at life and education (Lift for Life Gym Then there was the video about mothers who had overcome postpartum depression through the support of an amazing Missouri organization (Mother to Mother Pretty powerful stuff, and Abby seized every moment to shine in telling these stories.
As Abby applied to colleges for broadcast journalism, her dad once again came to me and asked, “Is there really a future in this broadcast thing? Maybe we should guide her to a fallback option. You know she’s very bright in a lot of subjects” I didn’t disagree with dad, and so we talked about other options, having full confidence and faith Abby would make a smart college choice.
After all the applications, essay’s, and college interviews, Abby was given a full scholarship, yes ALL expenses paid, to attend Ithaca College in New York and to study……you guessed it, Broadcast Journalism.
When I saw Abby’s dad at the end of her Senior year, we smiled, shook hands, and I said to him, “How’s that broadcast thing working out for you guys now?! Maybe you can take Abby to Europe with the college money you will save.” We laughed……
Sure enough, Abby and her dad did go Europe, London in fact, just the two of them, before she left for Ithaca. And now, Abby is excelling in college. See her work here.
I share this story for three reasons. One, always believe in your students and support their passions. Two, keep a solid line of communication open with parents at all times and be willing to discuss the pros and cons of your subject matter. And three……video has the power to change a life, and so does a teacher.
SchoolTube Testimonial: Abby Sophir
Do you allow students to create videos in your class? If not, why not? Do you need support to incorporate video in the classroom? I can help with that. Follow me on Twitter @dgoble2001 or email me at [email protected]. Good luck.
SchoolTube is a Learn Capital porfolio company

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  2. NSPA Announces Multimedia and Broadcast Story of the Year Finalists
  3. Poynter offers video storytelling workshops
  4. Process to Making a Video – For Serious
  5. Broadcast Lessons from HSBJ

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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