McManus Middle School recently went live with a weekly news show, giving students and staff a rundown of school and world events each Friday.
“Tiger News: Live” is livestreamed via YouTube. Each staff member is given the link ahead of time so they can tune in during morning homeroom. The first episode on Feb. 18 had reports on Black History Month, This Day in History, pop culture, the lunch menu, student birthdays, and the weather.
The students are guided by technology teachers Howard Schulz and Jennifer Detrolio. They’ve been working hard with the students since September on the jobs that go into the newscast. That work has paid off because now the students are steering the ship.
“For the most part they set it all up,” Schulz said. “We have writers, producers, directors, and we get to sit back and watch. Except when something doesn’t work, then they’re like, ‘Mr. Schulz!’”
The studio is set up in the school’s media center and the students use Open Broadcaster Software to livestream the show, which is about six minutes long. They are still refining their setup. One the day after their first show, they came up with a new teleprompter set-up so they would not have to read their reports off their iPads on the air.
“I have a group of eighth-graders that are really good, and they are teaching my seventh-graders,” Schulz said.
Students involved in the show in front of the camera or behind the scenes are: Matt Kozak, Maksymilian Jadczuk, Max Rodriguez, Jacob Gonczowski, Gabriella Vasquez, Oscar Martinez, Pipelewaoluwa Olanrewaju, Stephan Sidibe, Christopher Joyner, Antonella Garzon and Amelia Nycz.
“The show is expanding on a weekly basis,” Schulz said. “We have a producer every week who is responsible for setting up the show. The students write the show during the week and make the backgrounds. The behind-the-scenes students run the livestream and are responsible for getting the show on YouTube.
“When the show is about to begin, I leave the room. It is pretty cool.”