FHS News 74 operates under new adviser Kevin Smith

FHS News 74

Cameron Carlson, Writer

The Fenton High School newscast is a visual source of news meant to entertain students and staff alike. Advanced video production students have been creating the newscast for nine years. However, for the majority of the 2018-2019 school year, there was no newscast. Now, it has come back, with new potential, to resume its purpose. 

This newscast that came out most recently is a compilation of what the sports did for the past couple of weeks, a newscast of us and what’s happening in the school right now,” senior Jack Gundry said. “It talked about the spirit week and stuff that’s going to happen in the next couple weeks, the actual news about the school, and a bunch of skits.”

Richard Ashley, who had been teaching the advanced video production class for ten years and started the newscast within his second year here, received a job opportunity in Florida and took it. Farewells were given as he parted from the Fenton students and staff. This, however, left the newscast and all other video production classes without a teacher.

“Newscast with Ashley was amazing. He really cared for the newscast and was welcome to new ideas, especially making sure they were entertaining,” senior Jack Shaugnessy said.

Before Ashley left, the newscast aired its final episode. Since then, many teachers have filtered in and out of the classroom.

“After Ashley left, we had a substitute teacher for about a month. Then we had a new permanent teacher, Jake Davis,” Gundry said. “Then he left because he received a job at Apple [to which he previously applied]. After that, we just took online classes.”

This past summer, Fenton High administration hired Kevin Smith, a graduate from Central Michigan University who had prior video productions work at Clarkston and Michigan State University, to take the position. Now that they have a teacher, advanced video production students have returned to creating. They conversed with each other and unanimously decided the newscast needed to come back.

“All of us wanted to bring it back. I really enjoyed it. I think everybody in the school  wanted it back, and also to make it better,” junior Jalen Plumbley said.

With the decision of the newscast’s comeback, a lot of preparations had to be made. Besides a teacher, new cameras also came into the scene. With a fresh start, advanced video production had to plan how they were going to improve and continue to grow.

“During the first week of school we did an assessment of what has been done with this class in the past (what did the students enjoy and what do they want to do moving forward) and the advanced class very much wanted to continue doing the newscast. The goal is to hopefully take it to the next level, or at least in a different direction. It was a very open conversation with the students themselves, and they want to do it, so we’re going to do it,” Smith said.

Now that a plan was in place, video production went underway with the creation of the new newscast. As work began, word spread, and soon, anticipation lead to more and more questions as changes were being implemented.

“When we get to the layout of the news, we ask people in the class what they want to see. If people come in and say ‘hey can we do this,’ then we’ll most likely be able to do it. We’re really open about it,” said Gundry. 

To kick off the start of the new newscast, they made a teaser which can be found on their YouTube channel, FHS News 74, or at this link. The teaser served as a precursor to the new things that will be brought to FHS News. Such changes include content, but most will be in format and delivery.

“We’re going to try a slightly different format for this first episode and see how it’s perceived. It’s definitely trying to break the mold a little bit in terms of the past iteration, as it was very traditional from segment to segment to segment, anchors introducing them. Our first episode that launched followed a format that’s adult swim inspired. By that, I mean that it’s slightly non-traditional in the way the content will be delivered,” Smith said.