I’m adviser Sydney Swanson, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Sydney Swanson

What school do you teach at?
Holt High School

What city and state is your school located in?
Wentzville, Missouri

What different media are produced at the school?
Online News, Magazine, Yearbook, Broadcast Media, Journalism

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

Describe your space for us.
We work in a very small classroom that is also shared with English I, but we also have a small studio to produce videos. We are close, unassuming, productive, and compassionate about news. The space is very safe for all students and although we all have unique personalities and styles, we have cohesion and share through weekly brainstorming. It is a creative environment, where constructive criticism is encouraged and where working doesn’t feel like an obligation.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
It is comfortable and students do not feel restricted. They feel like they can be their self in this class.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
My students love the feedback and the collective atmosphere. Literally, it is the people who make the space and although we admire other school’s workspaces, we make ours work.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
We use the SNO app for our online news site, use Premiere Pro and the adobe suite for broadcast, eDesign for yearbook, and Indesign for magazine.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We have several Macs, Macbooks and desktops. We have three Canon EO5s, one Canon EO6 and a Nikon D3400.

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.
A good prompter and a good telephoto lens are essential.

How is your workspace funded?
All purchases are made through yearbook profits.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
I would love better cameras and many more of them.

(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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