FLORENCE, S.C. – The South Florence High School Bruin News Network has a new look this year.
BNN, which took place in a small room beside the auditorium in years past, now has a computer lab, a filming studio and a control room in the library. The school’s broadcast class also has new equipment, teleprompters and video editing software.
“We’re really excited for the direction of the program and where we’re going with it,” said Meredith Taylor, teacher of the broadcast class.
Students in the broadcast class produce a daily news show that includes school announcements, daily lunch servings, weather updates and a feature story. Students have produced features stories on the Florence Career Center, the ROTC program and others.
Taylor said two students will work on an event. One student will do the shooting and one will do the reporting on the event.
Each day at 9:40 a.m., all of the segments of the broadcast are compiled for the daily show, which is shown during the second block.
Taylor said working with the students on the news show has been exciting and challenging because of all of the new equipment and software they are learning together.
“I guess the biggest challenge is that we produce a product every day,” Taylor said. “So it’s just making a deadline every day, knowing the school is going to be waiting at ten after for the broadcast. So it’s a little bit of a challenge.”
Hamilton Sprawls, feature reporter, said BNN has been able to produce more content because there are more people working on the daily show this year.
“It’s a big change from last year because we were literally recording in an old closet that had a wall painted green for the green screen,” Sprawls said. “There’s a lot of new equipment, and it has expanded what we’re able to do.”
Sprawls said he has worked on several feature stories this school year, including a Sept. 11 memorial and a grammar police segment. He said his favorite part of the news production is working on the BNN introduction because he enjoys working with the music and visuals.
Currently, the news show is produced and then posted on a YouTube channel, but next week BNN will go live, Taylor said.
Kimberly Mack, principal of South Florence High School, said she is grateful that the school can provide another learning environment outside of the traditional classroom.
“I just think it’s awesome, and I think if we let students learn in this type of environment and let them take charge of their learning, they learn so much more,” Mack said.
The idea for the new studio came from a visit to Richland Northeast High School to look at its media program, Mack said. On her way back to Florence, she said, she texted the superintendent about revamping the program.
Mack said the director of technology has stuck with the program from beginning to end, and the librarians have been very flexible to clear out the space for the studio.