In order to have a relevant news site in the 21st century, a media organization must have a strong web presence in addition to print content.

Throughout my time in FHN Media, I have focused on expanding my skills to learn about all aspects of the web. I have a strong background in WordPress site design, working to design sites like this one. I also use School Newspapers Online to design pages on FHNtoday.com. I’ve applied my skills in video, audio, and graphic content creation to design interactive packages for our website.

Below you will find examples of my work both within and outside FHNtoday.

FHNtoday.com Site Design

Life After: Creating a Sub-Website

I knew I wanted my four-part series, Life After, to feature strong multimedia elements such video, audio, and infographics.

We use SNO Sites to host and design our website. I used my knowledge of HTML embed codes to add in video elements alongside the story, as well as utilizing SNO Story Elements and widgets in order to create a custom, interactive package and provide an immersive experience when scrolling through each story and looking at its home page.

Click here to visit the home page of the series.

Multimedia Package: FHSD Considers Changes to Fall Break and First Semester Finals Due to New Missouri Law

In July 2019, the Missouri State Legislature passed a law creating a new required school start date. This law eliminated 10 days from the beginning of the school year, and many parents were concerned that the new restriction would cause the Francis Howell School District to eliminate our week-long Fall Break in October that was unique to our district.

When writing this story, I wanted to include a video that explained the history behind the Fall Break, as well as provide our readers information about the new calendar and changes that could be made.

To do this, I combined my video editing skills with animated graphics and photos to create a short text video that accompanied the story. This video not only added context to the piece, but provided an interesting multimedia element.

Read the story here.

This story was not the first time I’ve used animated graphics to help tell a story. In my broadcast package Rising College Tuition Affects Student Education Decisions, the animations created in Adobe After Effects also add to the flow of the story. See that story on Multimedia Broadcast.

Adding Video to the FHNtoday Homepage

During my junior year, we created the FHNtodayTV Network, a lineup of web-based shows similar to my show, The Hood Report, that showcased various topics around the school and nation.

We wanted to draw more attention to each show. Using a SNO Widget, we created a special section to showcase each video on our homepage.

Scroll down to see the widget on the FHNtoday.com homepage.

Breaking News

Shelly Parks Named Missouri State Teacher of the Year

At the beginning of my junior year, one of our English teachers, Shelly Parks, was named a finalist and eventual winner of the Missouri State Teacher of the Year competition. The school planned a special surprise assembly to celebrate her achievement.

Our staff knew of the assembly ahead of time, and planned out breaking news coverage across our website and social media channels.

A partner and I were in charge of hosting and running a Facebook Live showing the assembly. We chose to present the event through a livestream to help show our school community the magnitude of the ceremony and give them immediate access to the day’s event.

We were the first news organization to post about the event, beating our school district’s communication team and local news outlets. Our Facebook Live earned over 3,000 views.

FHSD Superintendent Hendricks-Harris Announces Retirement at Years End

When our superintendent announced that she would be retiring at the end of the 2019-20 school year, the news team and I knew we had to act fast to get the news pushed out to our audience.

Our team worked to quickly find an image for the story, gather emails that were sent to parents, and reach out to our superintendent to get her comment.

The announcement was sent to parents and members of the district at 10 am on Friday morning and immediately posted on our website. An updated story, featuring quotes from our superintendent, was posted by 2 pm that same day.

Read the story here.

Covering 2020 Presidential Election Candidates

The 2020 Missouri Democratic Presidential Primary was set to be a key state in the presidential elections between Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders lost the state by less than 2,000 votes in 2016, but Biden was leading polls ahead of the primary.

When both candidates announced they would be holding rallies in St. Louis, I emailed everyone I knew to try and get press credentials into the rally. After many emails, phone calls, and DMs to members of the local media who followed me on Twitter, my partners and I were able to skip school and secure credentials to both rallies.

My favorite part of the rallies wasn’t getting to listen to the presidential candidates, but talking to the voters who attended the rallies and hearing their thoughts on the upcoming election.

Click here to see our coverage of Biden and Sanders’s rallies.

Keeping Communities Informed About COVID-19

In March 2020, St. Louis received its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19. In the coming weeks, concern about the virus among students, parents and faculty grew as cases in the U.S. increased and schools across the country closed.

Misinformation was everywhere, from rumors that two students at my high school were being tested for the virus to a fake account posing as our school district declaring that school had been cancelled.

To stop the spread of misinformation and calm fears in the community, the FHNtoday team and I set out a coverage plan to inform our community about any updates for in our county about the virus. We spoke with district officials and our principal daily and pushed out updates via social media and our website as they arose.

Click here to see our ongoing coverage of COVID-19 in the Francis Howell School District and look below to see social media posts that were created to inform our community.

In addition to our ongoing coverage, I also worked to cover COVID-19 when my school district announced it would be closing on March 15 through April 3 due to concerns over the virus and direction from local health departments.

The announcement was given to students at parents at 7:05 p.m. We immediately had updates to our Twitter feed within five minutes, and a story published at 7:44 p.m. with quotes from students and our head principal.

Read the story here.

Emily Hood Productions: Social Media Packages

Outside of my journalism work, I help local small businesses in my community generate content and leads through their social media channels.

I create custom video packages that produce content for YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. When creating these packages for a client, I also design custom graphics, endslides and lower thirds.

My goal with each package is to drive traffic to the client’s YouTube Channel, which in turn will allow them to promote their various products.

Look below to find an example of a video package made for one of my clients.