By Sam Ekstedt

May, 13th 2024

Have you ever wondered who is behind HBHS' Campus Update? There are surely familiar faces, like those among the show's rotating cast of anchors, but what goes on behind the camera?

What class is responsible for where this HBHS news show points its lens, and what opportunities are afforded to its students? 

Since the late 1970s, the Broadcast News, also known as the Broadcast Journalism class, has produced weekly episodes of the HBHS News show "Campus Update." 

Every Monday from Freshman to Senior year, during their homeroom period, every student at HBHS tunes in to Campus Update.

Together, they watch the slew of fun and relevant news segments covering all the incredible things happening on campus that week. 

Complex video and audio capture equipment aside, video making and even simply interviewing people for segments can be a daunting ask for any newcomer. 

That barrier to entry could understandably be very scary, but when asked about it, Quinten Franks, Senior and Campus Updates' current Show Director, assured that incoming students need, "Absolutely nothing. It's really all about how much you put in." 

Each year, students with little experience enter the Broadcast News class, and over the course of the first few months, they learn everything they need to know to start making videos from the ground up.

They then can hone their skills for the rest of the year. They are placed into one of three production teams and are responsible for one segment every three weeks. 

The Monday after a show airs, the Broadcast Journalism class gets together to pitch segments in a process they call, “Run Downs”. The following week, before they even break out a camera, they meticulously plan the next Campus Update Show.

In the second week they dig in and complete the actual production side of things. They get out in the community; interview people, and film the content. 

Then it’s straight into post production in the third week. After the student’s part comes Simmons’ takes the work the students did and crafts the final cut of the show that everyone will eventually see. 

"All the people here work together. They know what each other's strengths are. The goal is to play in the sandbox and determine what particular job tasks in the industry resonate best with you," said the class teacher, Mr. Simmons. 

And the Broadcast News class does just that. Students are given the space and freedom to explore their passions. 

The Broadcast News class is both the proving ground and stepping stone for students who wish to pursue exploring other classes in digital media at HBHS and later a digital media career beyond its halls.


Quinten Franks and Jack Goble direct and hold the teleprompter while recording a segment

Whether you want to make movies, television, animation, YouTube videos, or work at a news station, there are paths for you to hone your craft and network with like-minded people. 

As the saying goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." The opportunity to create connections with people early in high school can make a difference in reaching your dreams.

Students at HBHS have access to professional video and audio capture technology, but with how phone cameras have evolved, the matter of starting is simply in step one.

Following the Broadcast News class, students can join any of the numerous digital media classes available at HBHS. 

They could explore all aspects of television production, create "indie-style short films," and further build their portfolio by producing, filming, and editing media for APA's Main Stage shows with the Art of TV class.

Franks, who's currently nominated for a Tower Award in Media and Broadcast, said "Honestly, I don't doubt that I could get a job at a news station and know exactly what to do at this point…or at least know the baseline of what I need to do and pick it up pretty quickly." 


Quinten Franks editing a segment for Campus Update

Over the course of his time teaching all of his classes here at HBHS, Simmons reflected on his student’s success, "I've had students in my classes working on Hollywood sets already as sophomores. It's because of this open network of students that has been growing here over a number of years." 

With such a rich history of filmmaking and opportunity, it's no wonder that students like Franks, who took full advantage of the possibilities HBHS presents, feel fully prepared for their futures, stating, "I put a lot into this class, and I really feel like I am prepared for college and the future."

On the 18th of this month is the 2024 MMET Media Team Film Festival. The show will be held in the APA Studio Theatre (Black Box) and showcase some of the incredible student made short films that the Digital Media and Art of TV have crafted.

Be sure to check out the HB APA website to purchase tickets and see for yourself the kind of things that are possible for you at HBHS.

 "We need kids to realize they can do more," Simmons remarked. Join the Broadcast News class at HBHS and begin exploring your passions, skills, and what you want for your future. 

Your journey to success starts here, you must simply take the first step.