The Future of Broadcast Journalism at McClatchy

It’s no secret that it’s been a challenge to keep the Prospector alive this year. First, the class was cut, and then students had to fight for funding. The class was only funded again after students got over 500 signatures and made a genuine effort to talk with the administration. It’s been a tough year for journalism, to say the least.
In a regular year, the Prospector aims to produce around one newspaper per quarter. This all depends on the number of staff writers and the number of articles that are turned in every week. Because the class isn’t at capacity, the newspapers are barely longer than a few pages. However, this year the newspaper has taken a different approach to many different mediums.
This year the Prospector published the first “Hallozine”–a fall themed mini magazine to display the artistic side of the writing staff. This publication style is quite a bit different than the usual newspaper, which encouraged the staff writers to step out of their comfort zone by writing poems, playlists, and articles on a specific holiday theme.
However, this year the Prospector plans on venturing beyond just a zine. The journalism class has just decided that they will be moving into broadcast journalism as the future of media changes. As newspapers all over dwindle in size, the journalism program hopes to move into video news in addition to the quarterly newspaper.
The way in which this new broadcast announcement will manifest itself is still unclear. There is talk of easing into video news by creating a YouTube channel and posting one video to see if it picks up any momentum. The idea is that teachers can show the video to their students in order to hopefully increase student interest in the program.
Middle schools and high schools all over Sacramento have long had broadcast journalism. California Middle School(Cal) has a successful broadcast program that announces news every morning. In fact, several of the staff writers for the Prospector were first introduced to journalism in this form at Cal.
“I think it’s smart to introduce at McClatchy, because it’s a lot more attention-grabbing than a regular newspaper. Broadcast journalism would make for a more active class,” said Allie Seifert, a former Cal broadcast student and current Prospector staff writer.
One of the main challenges of producing two kinds of publications is finding a balance between the two. Because journalism is just a zero period, there is not a lot of time to devote equally to both newspaper content and producing videos. Until journalism generates more student interest, it may be tough to achieve a full on broadcast program.
In a perfect world, a video produced by journalism students in coordination with ASB would replace the second period morning announcements. While this certainly wouldn’t happen for a long time, producing a daily video to report news and events for students is the ultimate goal of journalism and the purpose of starting a broadcast program in the first place. In a high school filled with underused TV screens, a broadcast journalism program seems just within arm’s reach.

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