School Program Helps Students With Broadcasting and Communication Skills
At Hamilton Southeastern High School, students are getting a taste of modern life in the world of sports broadcasting through the school’s Southeastern Sports Network (SSN) program.
“As student media advisers, we really take to heart preparing students adequately for the field, because that’s how our standards have evolved, that’s how the industry has evolved, and that’s how the world has evolved,” says David Young, SSN co-adviser. “You can’t just be a one-trick pony. You have to be able to write your own content, take photos, and understand social media and marketing, to capture your target audience.”
The program began three years ago, and is a part of the school’s HSE news program, which also includes Orb, the school’s news magazine, as well as the yearbook, the student news broadcasting program, and the school’s official website. As part of SSN, students craft sports stories across various media platforms, shedding a light on the school’s athletes and coaches while also keeping fans up to date on the latest scores and news.
Young says SSN is split into four teams that focus on specialized projects.
“We have our live broadcast team, our podcast team, our newscast team, and our social media and online group who run all of our social media platforms, specifically Instagram and Twitter,” he says.
As restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have limited fan attendance at sporting events, Young and the SSN staff have specifically tried to ramp up their efforts, in hopes of keeping students and their families engaged.
“Our winter schedule is more ambitious than ever,” Young says. “We have some weeks that have two to three broadcasts. That’s a lot, but right now with limited attendance and a lot of unknowns with how many people can be in attendance, we think we’re going to have even more of a need to broadcast the great work our athletes and coaches are doing.”
While not all SSN students may go on to a career in the sports media field, the hope is that they leave with a more enhanced communications skill set, according to Jordan Klobusnik, SSN co-adviser.
“Through SSN, we hope to provide students with all skills they may need after high school,” Klobusnik says. “Whether our students intend to pursue journalism as a career or another field, we ultimately hope they understand how to communicate effectively, think through problems and collaborate with others. “
Young also hopes all of his students walk away as better consumers of news.
“In my introductory mass media class, I always say my goal is that they’re critical consumers of news – that they know that perspective going in, not just about credibility of information but also how news can shape you as a citizen,” Young says.