Maybe you already get your daily school news from NPZ on the New Paltz High School (NPHS) homepage. Or perhaps this is the first time you’re learning about it. Either way, NPZ is thoroughly newsworthy. Every school day, students anchor a short, entertaining broadcast that typically includes school news, weather, sports and club updates. They also feature a brief, student-produced film or video; the most recent video shorts highlight Hispanic figures to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.
Guiding the fledgling newscasters are three advisors: NPHS Art and Technology teacher Brennan Woods, English teacher Joe Dolan and Art teacher Todd Martin.
Although NPZ welcomes any student who wants to be involved, Woods requires his Advanced Film and Video Production class students to participate in small groups to cover all parts of the production, including on-camera anchoring, the broadcast system and the teleprompter. Outside the studio, students are the creators of the preproduced content aired throughout the year on the morning show. Woods believes that the system is an effective way to expose the students’ work to a larger audience. Students from Dolan’s Public Speaking class rotate through the schedule, serving as on-camera anchors and flexing their developing skills.
Grade 12 Advanced Film and Video Production student Finn Gibson said that the daily NPZ morning announcement broadcasts amplify student voices and messages throughout the school and can facilitate interactions among clubs and between the school and the community at large. “Last year, I made videos promoting the Department of Environmental Conservation’s eel count program, which significantly increased attendance at the event after the airing on NPZ,” Gibson recalled. Making videos, he suggested, is no simple matter: “There is no amount of reading that can prepare you for the chaotic nature of trying to manage people for large projects.”
Fellow Grade 12 Advanced Film and Video Production student Maxwell Reinking said that working on the NPZ daily broadcast taught him how to use video editing programs and how to operate cameras. Classmate Zlata Shmarina said that she now feels well-educated on how to use various filming and editing programs. “I learned to make good content in a timely manner while using special effects and transitions,” she said.
The news is not the only thing getting updated. Woods, Dolan and Martin have just finished revamping the studio, with assistance from the Technology Department’s Keith Baisley and Mike Wicke. The studio now utilizes Open Broadcast Software (OBS), which equips students with the know-how that will enable them to set up and run production streams and recordings. The versatile, free software is quickly becoming the standard among professional broadcasters.
To view the NPZ broadcast, visit the NPHS homepage at www.newpaltz.k12.ny.us/Domain/91 and click on the NPZ radio button.