We’re advisers Jerred Zegelis and Timothy Kaldahl, and this is our newsroom…

What is your name?
Jerred Zegelis and Timothy Kaldahl

What school do you teach at?
Omaha Westside High School

What city and state is your school located in?
Omaha, Nebraska

What different media are produced at the school?
Newspaper, Website, Lit Mag, Video, Yearbook all linked on www.westsidewired.net

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?

Describe your space for us.
We are incredibly lucky here to have a hallway to call our own and three rooms dedicated to journalism. We have a wall-sized green screen where we do some of our video, a half dozen desktops for 4K editing, a teaching/meeting room for most of our work, and the “J Room” which is the hang-out place for our journalism students here.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
Our environment is flexible, so the benefit is that the students can move around very easily. Having three rooms to work with also helps with small group meetings and break-out sessions.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
Our students say they like the open environment, one they call home. They have a lot of freedom here.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
The Adobe Suite is their most used.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We are trying to go with full 4K video, so right now our most used video cameras are the Panasonic GH5 and the Fuji X-H1. For still photos we have an assortment of SL1, SL2 and T3 Canon cameras. We have a 1D Mark IV and 1DX with 70-200 f/2.8 lenses for sports. We also have four iPad pros that are in high demand.

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.
1 – Cell phone lavalier mics – they increase the sound of audio tremendously, which sometimes helps them to believe that sound is more important than video. 2 – Hard drives to back stuff up.

How is your workspace funded?
The students fund any print publication themselves. They do this through a combination of ad sales and fundraising. If they don’t get the money, they don’t print. We are also given a yearly district budget to spend on new equipment, but we try to limit any of that going to printing or paying for students publications so full ownership can be on the students.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
Make it prettier. Kaldahl and I are not great at making the space pretty. We just need to let the kids do it!

(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 26th 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 is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner 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 X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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