Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 7:44 pm | Fair 68º

 
 
 
 

Teen News Network Cues Student Reporters on Community Beat

Teenagers gain experience in all areas of TV news production in program newly sponsored by Noozhawk

They may be young, but what members of Santa Barbara Teen News Network lack in age, they make up for in talent.

The group of about 30 high school and junior high students turns out a prolific amount of entertainment coverage for the community. They meet every Saturday for two hours in the Santa Barbara Channels TV studio in Goleta, and fan out to shoot different events during the week.

The kids run everything in the studio, from cameras to the sound booth to performing in front of the camera, and they produce shows in the studio as well as cover events around the community. The course is educational, but instructor Peter McCorkle, who began the program in May 2009, says it’s much more than that. As students learn the ins and outs of television production, they also become more confident and able to refine their skills.

The program has helped “create more fearless kids,” McCorkle said. “It opens the door for them socially.”

The Teen News Network program seems a natural extension for McCorkle, a guest teacher at Dos Pueblos High, who has taught theater and dance in the area for decades. Even though he’s seen students go on to pursue other studies, not just that of television, they’re able to take their skills to any field. Some do want to go into broadcast journalism, however, and the program has helped them explore, he said.

Focusing on entertainment has helped highlight the numerous youth theater opportunities locally. With local media providing scant exposure for high schools, sbTNN is filling that gap of coverage, McCorkle said.

“There was no avenue for teens to get the word out there about what they were doing,” he said.

Teen News Network is already big on Facebook, sometimes updating with several video clips a day. The program is sponsored by the Patricia Henley Foundation, and Noozhawk is now serving as the group’s media sponsor. TNN videos will be available on Noozhawk’s Web site in the future.

Hailey Sestak, a junior at Santa Barbara High, has been with sbTNN for four years. Since starting the program, she’s become more interested in television and she said she would like to pursue directing and costume design when she leaves for college. Training in the Santa Barbara Channels studios, hours of editing and scrutinizing movies for camera angles have all been part of Sestak’s education with sbTNN.

Confidence has been a huge asset for Sestak and her peers as they worked in the program. She said it was difficult to approach people for interviews as a teenager at first, but she’s now comfortable in that role. She attended Saturday’s GLEE at The Luke performance at The Marjorie Luke Theatre, was at the recent Maroon 5 concert and even went to Katy Perry’s exclusive concert at Dos Pueblos High that was only for DP students.

“Those are things I never would have gotten to go if I hadn’t been in the program,” she said.

It’s that kind of attitude that compelled Noozhawk to get involved, said Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen.

“As journalists, we recognize that young people need opportunities to explore our craft,” Macfadyen said. “Through sbTNN, they’re getting a chance to not only explore, but acquire real experience that will help them in college and in whatever their future careers may be.

“It’s exciting for us to be involved. Besides, these are kids we will want to be hiring in a few years.”

Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara Teen News Network, or call 805.658.3600. Follow sbTNN on Twitter: @sbTNN. Become a fan of sbTNN on Facebook.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @laraanncooper, @NoozhawkNews or @Noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Teen News Network October 30 2010 from Patricia Henley Foundation on Vimeo.

(Santa Barbara Teen News Network video)

The current sbTNN class strikes a group pose before the start of its second season.
The current sbTNN class strikes a group pose before the start of its second season. (Santa Barbara Teen News Network photo)

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