I fell in love with creating videos ever since I was accidentally placed in our introductory broadcast journalism class during my freshman year.
I believe the best broadcast stories not only use the best sources with the most accurate information, but take advantage of opportunities to incorporate great b-roll and visuals and interesting audio sound bites to pull a viewer into an event.
Look below to see a sample of the videos and podcasts I have produced during my time in FHN Student Media.
Dig It Volleyball Inc. Helps Young Girls in St. Louis
Dig It! Volleyball Inc. is a nonprofit organization in the St. Louis area that works with high-risk young girls to empower them through the sport of volleyball, while teaching them important life skills along the way. The group meets throughout the week and every Friday to practice and learn lessons like confidence and leadership.
This story holds a special place among all the work I have done. It made me a better interviewer and storyteller as I learned the reasons why members of the organization were so passionate about female empowerment and the sport of volleyball.
In this package, I also used natural sound to help viewers understand the atmosphere in the Dig It gym. In order to do this, I mic’d up Caitlyn Vann, the director of the Dig It! program, to get some sound bites while she interacted with the players.
Rising College Tuition Affects Student Education Decisions
As my friends rushed to complete their college applications in the fall of 2018, I noticed a common theme when I asked each of them where they wanted to go. Most had a dream school in mind, but said that it would ultimately come down to the school that gave them the most scholarship money.
This led me to ask an important question: Was a college education accessible to those who wanted it?
This story had to be shot and edited in two weeks, and I had to complete a lot of research to find out if there was statistical evidence to back up the concerns that my friends were having.
This story taught me valuable research skills by utilizing data found in The College Board’s Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports to support my interviews.
To showcase this data, I learned how to create animated graphics to show the rising costs of college tuition. This added a lot to the story, using visuals to show the viewer the drastic increase in the cost of college tuition in the past decade.
I love this story because of all of the new skills I was able to learn that would be useful in my later reporting.
Nahed Chapman Academy Takes In Immigrant Students
Nahed Chapman New American Academy is a school in downtown St. Louis helping immigrant and refugee students learn the English language and American culture. Students at the school come from all over the world, from places like Mexico, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Throughout this story, I interviewed teachers and students from the school to talk about their struggles and lives before they came to America. It was an eye-opening experience for me and I loved hearing about cultures so different from my own.
Hearing their perspectives on the immigration system and resources available to them through the school and government impacted and motivated me to seek out more stories covering big-picture issues.
The Hood Report
The Hood Report is my weekly news show that discusses three national stories while showcasing my personality and energy. The show is designed for the web, is typically 2-3 minutes long and mirrors the style of videos that many of our students watch online.
I created this show as a freshman with the intention of informing my classmates of the news in a way they could enjoy.
You can see my jump cuts have broken a rule of broadcast journalism.
My adviser always told me that rules are meant to be broken, as long as you have a purpose for doing so.
The jump cuts used in The Hood Report add to the style of the show and mimic the cuts used by many popular personalities on YouTube that our students love to watch. They help create a fast pace for the show and add to its modern and authentic feel.
While the jump cuts are a specific choice I make in The Hood Report, I do recognize there is a time and place to use them. I would never use jump cuts in one of my traditional broadcast stories or other videos I produce for FHNtodayTV.
Find out more about copyright protections used in The Hood Report on Law and Ethics.
Many parts of the show have improved from my first episode aired two years ago. My confidence in my anchoring skills has improved since I was a nervous freshman, and I learned better ways to make my speech more clear and use broadcast style to best convey my message. I adjusted my lighting, framing, and editing style to make the videos seem more professional and continue the fast pace of each episode.
Below you can find the first episode of The Hood Report to see how the show has evolved from its early beginnings.
Quill and Scroll "The Source" Podcast - Episode 13 "Scholastic Journalism Week with Emily Hood and Jordyn Kiel
In this podcast recorded in January 2020, I interviewed Jordyn Kiel, an adviser at FHN who serves as the head of our Quill and Scroll chapter and coordinator for Scholastic Journalism Week. I spoke with her about her involvement in scholastic journalism and how schools can get involved in Scholastic Journalism Week.
Through this episode, I enjoyed learning more about the audio editing process and telling a story through the interview with my adviser.
Listen to the episode below.
After creating my show, The Hood Report, during my freshman year, I wanted to get on-camera experience in any way I could. I joined FHNtodayLive as a play-by-play and color commentator in charge of bringing energy to our sports broadcasting section.
I’ve played volleyball for 10 years, so I naturally felt the most comfortable when commentating our girls and boys volleyball games.
In each game, I not only looked to infuse my knowledge of the game, but also my personality to create an engaging experience on each livestream.