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Selena Baker // Southaven High School

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Each Friday during the school year, Southaven students have the opportunity to tune in and catch the latest news on Charger Nation TV.

Southaven alumna Selena Baker has about 20 students per year in her high-tech video class and broadcast journalism class working with CNTV.

“If a student takes it more than once, it’s a broadcast journalism class,” she said. “They use similar skills, but when you’re in the broadcast journalism class they do more writing.”

The program, in its third year, was started when Baker was hired on at her alma mater.

“We do them every Friday,” she said. “Usually by the third Friday we’re publishing.”

Baker said she makes sure students have the right groundwork and foundation before they go on air.

“We cover operation of the equipment, safety, composition, a basic tutorial of editing, three-point lighting and storyboarding,” she said. “If it’s the journalism class we talk more about writing, the active voice and how to interview.”

After the two to three week crash course, students are ready to begin production.

“I let them brainstorm, and we have a format basically stick to,” she said. “If they decide to change it, that’s fine. It’s student led at that point with my guidance and filter.”

Baker said working with CNTV is an incredible opportunity for students.

“We’re really the out of the box class,” she said. “There’s not another class on campus like us. It’s hands on, student-led and they get some hands-on experience.”

Above Baker’s white board hangs her class mantra: No idea is a bad idea.

“I want them to always throw out their ideas,” she said. “We may not use it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. I want them to be creative, I want them thinking, and I want them to pitch what they think will be good.”

Baker said her principal, Shane Jones, was able to secure funding for her to get the equipment to start the program.

“I didn’t buy a lot of high-end things, but I purchased things I thought they would use in the real world,” she said. “We have some external mikes, some lab mikes, a shoulder-mount camera, a green screen and CS6 for editing.”

In taking Baker’s class, students are able to get a taste of what could be a future career for some of them.

“If they want to do something like this for a living — they might want to be behind the camera, or an actor, or a broadcast journalist or and editor — at least if they’ve had this class, they know what that’s like,” she said. “At least they’re exposed to it.”

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Selena Baker // Southaven High School