CORINTH HOLDERS -- Students at Corinth Holders High School are gaining real life experience working in the field of television broadcasting.
As part of a video production course, they are running WARG-TV and producing a weekly news program geared toward the entire community.
“This Week” is a 10-minute show airing every Tuesday throughout the entire school with administrators making sure it’s available for viewing in all classrooms. The programs are also accessible on the school’s website.
“We consider the parents and community as our audience, not just the students here at the high school,” said instructor Rich Nixon. “This is one way for us to communicate with them. We try to be the public face of the school.”
Nixon has been running the course at CHHS since the school’s opening in 2010. It’s a class that’s in high demand with space only limited to students in grades 10-12. There are currently two dozen students meeting on a daily basis to work on the station’s programming.
They start off by learning the basics, beginning with the history of television and by the end of the semester are able to film, produce and edit short films and news programs. Nixon, who also teaches social studies, said the video production class is considered an elective for that subject.
“I enjoy working with them and it’s neat to see their progress,” he said. “My role is like a producer. I give them the resources to put all the pieces together.”
Filming takes place in the Pirate TV studio located just off the classroom. It contains a green screen for special effects, hand held cameras and computers that are used for editing or as a teleprompter.
Senior Gabby Scott is in her second year with the program and was attracted to the course for its creative flexibility. Over time, she has taken on many roles including camera operator and news anchor.
“We get to have a say in what we’re going to do and are able to come up with feature story ideas,” Scott said. “You get free reign to have creative input.”
Previous stories have included pieces on CHHS’s clubs and sports programs, student spotlights and an interview with a local politician about the importance of voter registration.
When not working on the weekly news program, students are free to create short movies as side projects. They also take charge of filming and directing the school’s annual Lip Dub contest entry.
“We’re creating our own textbook,” said Emily Grant, a sophomore whose interest in the class was peaked after being interviewed for a program last year.
“We also get to write our own scripts and draw storyboards,” added senior Grant Bunn. “This program has helped me with my stage fright. My first year I was so nervous but I soon got over that.”
Nixon said the students pitch many of the story ideas but ultimately it’s his job to make sure the content is appropriate and newsworthy.
“It’s important for us to put out a quality project,” said Nixon. “We work hard to make sure it has entertainment value and serves a purpose to adhere to the mission of the school.”