The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The Student News Site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

Welcome Back GNN

News Anchors Emily Longman and Carly Beard prepare for the taping of the daily announcements. Photo taken by Erin Castellano.
News Anchors Emily Longman and Carly Beard prepare for the taping of the daily announcements. Photo taken by Erin Castellano.

The clock strikes 9:56. It is the end of second hour; the day has barely begun, yet the slap of feet on stone steps accents every second of each tension filled minute for the crew of the Greyhound News Network.

GNN is the CHS broadcast network. It is the main organization from which stems the new video-formatted daily announcements as well as Greyhound Exclusive Television.  GET is a show which made its first appearance in 2003 (then known as GNN), but was on hiatus last year and is slated to return this school year.

Present

“Every day is a rush. Normally when we’re in there, every single day, it’s down to the wire,” Erin Castellano, one of the two video production advisors said. “When class starts [during 2nd period], students come in and turn on the lights and the soundboard, the character generator, the teleprompter and the cameras. They get all the equipment set up and run through everything making sure the machines are working.”

The crew receives the daily announcements from Activities Director Mike Nelke, and the announcements then have to be copied into the teleprompter. Once all of the setup is done they have only about 20 minutes to get a good take done to be played at the beginning of 3rd period.

More often than not, crew members are forced to compensate for a lack of properly performing equipment by staying late and filming right up to the bell.

The GNN crew had their first fright on Friday, Aug. 30 when a recording device malfunctioned in the middle of taping.

“We realized we didn’t have enough time [to re-tape], so we sent everyone we didn’t need to class, and I said, ‘You need to stay, we have to go live in two minutes,’” Castellano said.

This provided the GNN crew with a unique experience.

“[Broadcasting] live is a completely different beast,” co-news anchor Emily Longman said.

Longman, now a senior, moved to the Clayton School District during her junior year. She has been public speaking since her elementary days as a morning news announcer, but that was always through the intercoms.

“It’s kind of strange when people I don’t know in the hallways tell me, ‘Oh yeah, you’re on the news. You’re really good,’” Longman said.

Carly Beard, co-news anchor with Longman, who has also had experience as a news announcer, explains how she deals with the stresses of knowing that hundreds of people are listening to her voice as well as seeing her face.

“I try not to think about [it] too much,” Beard said. “But coming from a performance background, anyone who’s in acting or in public speaking, [knows] one of the essentials that you need to know is that you have to put yourself out there.”

The same rule applies for all the students taking the 7th period video studios production class, or in other words, GET.

The GET crew is hoping that they will be able to air a 12 minute news show, on every alternate Friday replacing the daily announcements. Their production is based on Clayton stories and includes projects covering the school and community.

Last year the show was not broadcasted because of wiring difficulties within the new building, but the GET staff is looking forward to their work returning to the classrooms.

“With the new technology, I think that our video production group has a lot to offer, and I really hope that we’ll be able to tap into all those assets,” Beard said.

Past

A weekly show is what got everything started. When students expressed an interest for video production some nine years ago, Castellano’s predecessor, Nancy Freeman, decided to take that decisive step which would redefine broadcasting at CHS.

“We already had the closed circuit set up and we bought some software, and just started putting together shows,” Christine Stricker said, who also advises video production at the high school. “I don’t know how we managed to convince them to build us a studio, but we did.”

The story of how GNN has progressed from one tiny room to the lavish suite that it is today is almost one out of a modern fairy tale.

“We said, we just need a bigger room; that’s where we started,” Stricker said. “And then it was like, ‘well why don’t we have a whole suite for all the journalism classes? And then, what would we want in a bigger room?’ And it just built from there.”

The money to build the new studio came from the bond issue, Proposition S, approved in April 2009 by Clayton voters. But inspiration for the remarkable project flowed in from far outside the Clayton community.

“We had seen a variety of other school’s plans, and we just took elements from those different schools,” Stricker said. “The suite situation comes from Kirkwood, and we liked the video studio at Hillcrest High school, here in Missouri. [HHS] is one of the leaders in high school broadcast.”

As for the Future,

With the help of the Clayton community, this year will mark the beginning of a bright, opportunity-filled age for GNN.

“We’re hoping this year to have some great stories,” student executive producer of GNN, junior Izzy Greenblatt said, “We want it to be a fun show for the students, for the people working on it, and kind of make it something that Clayton will be known for.”

GNN is preparing to reach for the stars.

“The Globe has been nominated for pacemakers [a National Scholastic Press Association contest], and what we want to do is get GNN and GET ready to have some nominations for pacemakers as well,” says Greenblatt, “We’ve watched a ton of different school’s tv shows and seen what they’ve done to get nominations, and it’s just been really cool because we all think we can do the same thing.”

The GNN crew has more than enough reason to be confident. Not only are they connected to every room in CHS, thanks to the new studio, their community is one filled with unique people, captivating ideas and beautiful places. Every news reporter’s dream.

Both advisors are hopeful.

“It is so open-ended, there are so many possibilities,” Stricker said.

“I’m excited about the show, and how it all comes together,” Castellano said. “But I think it’s going to be good. The crew this year really seems excited about it, they really seem to care about it, and I think they’re going to do a good job.”

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Phoebe Yao
Phoebe Yao, Editor
Phoebe Yao is currently a Junior at CHS and an editor for the CHS Globe. She is very involved both inside and outside the classroom, and enjoys being president of the CHS Buskers Club and Jane Austen Club and being a member of MYAC, CHS Link Crew, and Tri-M. In addition, she is very dedicated to her viola and enjoys being a part of the CHS Symphonic Orchestra and the Saint Louis Youth Orchestra as well as the Webster University Preparatory Program.
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