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IEE Blog Post: Engaging Youth in Community Media

Written by: Barbara Chisholm, Executive Director, WACA TV

WACA TV has been engaging youth in media for over 20 years.  There are several media opportunities that young people can participate in at WACA TV.  For example, summer production workshops where we instruct middle and high school youth in all aspects of media.  They learn scriptwriting, set and prop design, acting, filming both in the studio and on location, and post/production. 

We also offer after school programs for elementary students who learn how to operate both studio and field cameras as well as control room equipment.  They do this while creating short skits, doing mock newscasts and “cooking” segments and a variety of other on camera activities. 

High school and college students are encouraged to participate in our center’s productions, training one on one or in small groups with our staff.  These young adults then become paid production consultants covering many events for us in our facility and on location allowing us the ability to produce more local events.  This is also a “win-win” for them, since they are learning a skill and earning some money at the same time. 

Many of them have chosen their higher education field of study based on their experiences and time spent interning and freelancing at our media center. Many of our “graduates” have gone to careers in film and TV and attribute their success to our training and programs.