Is there a future in broadcast video?

Each semester I poll my incoming Broadcast Technology students about why they are taking my course. Without fail, 95% of them tell me it’s either for the credit, or nothing else fit their schedule. I don’t mind hearing that response, because I know I will get a certain amount of them to get hooked. Hooked on collaborating with a team to produce a television show. Hooked on publishing their work to the web. Hooked on storytelling.So it wasn’t a surprise to me when a young Sophomore girl, will call her Abby, told me she was surprised at her interest in my class, but that it was “really fun and exciting,” she said.Now Abby was an established writer, athlete, philanthropist, and outdoorsy kind of girl. And yet, when she first appeared on camera, I knew she would be adding another talent to her toolkit. Abby was confident, well spoken and interesting on camera, and I told her so. This seemed to motivate her, and for that I was proud.

This story got a bit more interesting however, when I first met Abby’s parents. They love and support their daughter to the Nth degree, but I couldn’t help but be taken aback by dad’s comment to me on the night of our first parent conference. He said, “This broadcast thing is great and all, but is there a future in it for Abby? Is there a future in broadcast video? We only want what’s best for her.”Not a truer statement could come from a parent. I know the feeling. As a parent, we are concerned for our kids and want what’s best for them. I spoke openly and honestly with her dad about the type of futures in broadcasting, and said, “Let’s support her passion and talents right now and see where they lead.”

The next year Abby continued to excel at broadcasting and telling incredible stories through the power of video. Abby visited a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and told a beautiful story of recovery, family and faith (Surviving Katrina She also told stories about inner city students receiving a unique opportunity at life and education (Lift for Life Gym Then there was the video about mothers who had overcome postpartum depression through the support of an amazing Missouri organization (Mother to Mother Pretty powerful stuff, and Abby seized every moment to shine in telling these stories.

As Abby applied to colleges for broadcast journalism, her dad once again came to me and asked, “Is there really a future in this broadcast thing? Maybe we should guide her to a fallback option. You know she’s very bright in a lot of subjects” I didn’t disagree with dad, and so we talked about other options, having full confidence and faith Abby would make a smart college choice.

After all the applications, essay’s, and college interviews, Abby was given a full scholarship, yes ALL expenses paid, to attend Ithaca College in New York and to study……you guessed it, Broadcast Journalism.

When I saw Abby’s dad at the end of her Senior year, we smiled, shook hands, and I said to him, “How’s that broadcast thing working out for you guys now?! Maybe you can take Abby to Europe with the college money you will save.” We laughed……

Sure enough, Abby and her dad did go Europe, London in fact, just the two of them, before she left for Ithaca. And now, Abby is excelling in college. See her work here.

I share this story for three reasons. One, always believe in your students and support their passions. Two, keep a solid line of communication open with parents at all times and be willing to discuss the pros and cons of your subject matter. And three……video has the power to change a life, and so does a teacher.

(SchoolTube Testimonial: Abby Sophir

Do you allow students to create videos in your class? If not, why not? Do you need support to incorporate video in the classroom? I can help with that. Follow me on Twitter @dgoble2001 or email me at Good luck.

Don Goble

Don Goble is an award-winning Broadcast, Technology, Multimedia and Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis. Journalism Education Association's National Broadcast Adviser of the Year in 2015, Don is also an Apple Distinguished Educator, PBS Lead Digital Innovator and author who advocates for media and digital literacy for all learners. Don masterfully engages students to author and craft media messages to build their voice and share their story.

Don Goble has 52 posts and counting. See all posts by Don Goble

One thought on “Is there a future in broadcast video?

  • August 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    What an awesome story, way to go Don and way to go Abby!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.