I’m adviser Michael Reeves, and this is my newsroom

What is your name?
Michael Reeves

What school do you teach at?
James Bowie High School

What city and state is your school located in?
Austin, Texas

What different media are produced at the school?
The Dispatch newspaper, a literary magazine (name changes), Commercial Photography

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
150 in newspaper, 180 in yearbook

Describe your space for us.
Our room is a nice sized room with two shared spaces with our yearbook program which is in the classroom next door. The main newspaper room is a lab with some small seating areas, and enough space to meet as a team near the whiteboard. The two shared spaces include an editors room with couches, a fridge, microwave, Keurig and a table, as well as a storage area for our morgue, a lockable camera storage locker, and additional space to meet privately if needed. We rarely have the overhead lights on as florescent bulbs are the worse. I designed a lighting system using Christmas lights and PVC pipes. The kids love it. Our editors room is open to all students to make lunch, or store food in the fridge, but the work space is dedicated to senior and junior editors to work on their off periods.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
We have a lot of planning boards in our workspace. The lighting is ideal and the kids love the change from a regular classroom. This is their escape from core classes. The two shared spaces are just icing on the cake. I have lots of storage room and we have a place where kids can be themselves with their friends and can work without disturbing intro classes.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
The lighting, the music playing all the time, and the editors room (or at least the idea that they will eventually be able to go in there).

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Adobe CC, MS Office, Hootsuite, various scanners, drawing tablets.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We use iMacs, Canon rebels, a bunch of secondary lenses from fisheyes, to 70-200 2.8. We have a couple of macros, a few 1.2 and 1.4 L-lenses, and external flashes. We have access to studio lighting (ProPhoto), backdrops, etc.

 Aside from the computers and the programs, what are one or two pieces of equipment that you have that you think other programs should have.
I have a laminator and a big slide cutter that I use all the time. Another item I think is cool is a dry mount press.

How is your workspace funded?
Career Tech Education pays for most of our equipment. We get some funding from our district and I use some of it for cheaper lenses and office supply needs. I also have an activity account for travel and any left-over monies are used to pay for any equipment needs.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
A rigged backdrop system that can be mounted on the ceiling. I would always love more lenses. We also need to get a few higher end video rigs with should mounts, slide mounts, etc. We want to expand our video on the website.

(This is one of a series of posts where high school newsrooms are showcased. We’d love to showcase your newsroom on the site. To find out how, check out the information here and submit yours today.)

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 23rd year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 711 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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