Season 3 of Youth Media Kicks Off!
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Wednesday, 07 January 2015

Happy 2015! We've just kicked off season three of the KRTS Youth Media Project, and this year brings a number of changes. First, the program is no longer operating after school. Instead, Marfa High students enrolled in broadcasting class will tackle PBS Student Reporting Labs curriculum in the classroom. KRTS mentors Sally Beauvais and Mia Warren are dropping by the high school once a week to cover lessons on topics ranging from "what is newsworthy" to "interviewing techniques."

Such a logistical change will require regular coordination and collaboration between the KRTS mentors and Marfa High teachers Daniel Hernandez and Wayland Jenkins, who are offering two different periods of broadcasting classes this semester.

Marfa high school students practice using the Zoom mics blindfolded.

In our first meeting, we introduced ourselves with an icebreaker: "Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?" Student responses were pretty diverse. One student even said he'd take on both options at the same time!

Next, we went over the basics of handling Zoom mics. Sally introduced an exercise in which students paired off and guided each other, one partner blindfolded, through a space. With sight eliminated from the equation, students were forced to rely on their sense of hearing -- and what they heard was magnified when picked up through a recorder. A special emphasis was placed on the difference between mic input and headphone volume.

We ran through some interview tips from a handout from Sound Portraits, with a demonstration on how open-ended questions can yield more interesting responses than those that might elicit a simple "yes" or "no." Then it was time for some hands-on practice with the Zooms. Class ended with students practicing interview questions on one another.