EMAC showcase provides journalistic experience

Mary Whitfill & Hayley Struck
Sidekick Features Editor & KCBY Crew Member

Emerging Media and Communications (EMAC) Academy students were given the opportunity on Thursday to walk in the shoes of real-world journalists at the all-day EMAC showcase.

“We are so excited to be able to pull students out of class today for the purpose of getting to understand what it is to be a journalist,” KCBY adviser Irma Kennedy said. “They are going to get an opportunity to go out in the halls, go find their sources and find out what’s going on in the school.”

Students were excused from class and asked to root out stories happening in the halls of CHS, find sources and conduct interviews, and create journalism products such as stories and videos. The students were split into groups and had to find and develop their own topics.

“[Our story] is about EMAC, STEM and PSA registration,” EMAC sophomore Kristin Schulz said. “We are just informing students about where thy need to find that information. We are writing a story about it, we are making a video about it and hopefully it’ll all come together in the end.”

EMAC students have been taking classes where they learn how to conduct professional interviews, craft journalistic stories, create informational videos and take eye catching and newsworthy photos. The showcase gave participants the opportunity to put their newfound knowledge to use and create proficient journalistic pieces.

“There are great things going on at CHS, so this is an opportunity to showcase what those great things are,” Kennedy said. “Kids are going to walk away from this with a totally different idea of what it is to be a journalist.”

In addition to gaining valuable real-world experience, freshmen were given the opportunity to work with and observe veteran EMAC students.

“It’s fun teaching them and telling them all that we’ve learned and hopefully letting them know what’s going to happen in the future,” EMAC sophomore Kilian Bresnahan said.

Upperclassman media students were also pulled from class to contribute to the lessons and teach younger students what they thought they needed to know. Both Sidekick and KCBY members shared their unique knowledge with the EMAC students.

“My job is to help students understand web technology and how it’s used today because that’s where most of journalism is headed,” senior Sidekick webmaster Wren Culp said. “So today we have set up a WordPress site and a Twitter feed that allows them to basically experience real-world journalism and it’s for a grade which is think is really cool.”