A J. Frank Dobie Jr. High student was featured in a PBS NewsHour News Story on September 29, 2020 titled, “How schools are coping with the constantly changing landscape of COVID-19.”
It is estimated that approximately 2 million viewers across the country watch the PBS NewsHour broadcast every week day. On YouTube, the episode has garnered over 127,000 views.
Briana Gonzales, a 7th grader at Dobie Jr. High School, submitted the video clip as part of an assignment in her journalism class. Gonzales is the daughter of Mr. Jose Orlando Gonzales, Clemens High School Coach in SCUCISD and Mrs. Amanda Gonzales, Assistant Principal at Watts Elementary in SCUCISD. “I was really excited to see my first journalism project on national news,” said Briana Gonzales. “I couldn’t believe it!”
SCUCISD’s J. Frank Dobie Jr. High School and Corbett Junior High School participate in PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL), a national journalism program to train middle and high school students to produce original, youth-focused news reports and connect them to opportunities to be mentored and supported by local PBS stations.
Mrs. Nancy Preyory-Johnson, Dobie Junior High Yearbook and Journalism teacher, and Ms. Tanya Mendez, Corbett Junior High School yearbook and journalism teacher, participated in a week-long teacher workshop in July to learn best practices for teaching their students video journalism
“I am very grateful for the PBS NewsHour SRL program!” said Mrs. Preyor-Johnson. “Journalism is more important than ever and I’m so proud of Briana and all of my students for trying something new.”
As part of the program, students create video news stories based on current events and topics of the day, with the opportunity to have content published on the PBS NewsHour, which reaches over two million viewers nightly.
Preyor-Johnson and Mendez incorporate SRL curriculum to engage their students in news and public affairs, and ensure that young people are active in conversations about the critical issues facing the nation.
“I’m excited to bring this program to our students,” Mendez said. “Incorporating SRL in our new video program gives our students real world opportunities to have their voices heard on a national level.”
“Youth voice is important, now more than ever, as our country enters a pivotal year and encounters issues that matter and affect youth everywhere,” said SRL Founder and managing editor of education at the NewsHour, Leah Clapman. “Passionate educators are the glue that holds this program together. Every year we discover new ways to expand and improve SRL, with the most innovative and effective ideas coming straight from the teachers on the front lines.”
SRL is building the next generation of video journalists by connecting educators with an innovative video journalism curriculum and network of public broadcasting mentors to develop digital media, critical thinking, and communication skills while producing original news reports from a youth perspective. Over 150 schools across 46 states and the District of Columbia participate each year, reaching 3,000 students yearly. Over the last decade, SRL youth media producers have helped students place over 50 video news reports on PBS NewsHour’s nightly broadcast and more on local media outlets. Visit www.studentreportinglabs.org to learn more.
For more than 40 years, millions of Americans and citizens of the world have turned to the PBS NewsHour for the solid, reliable reporting that has made it one of the most trusted news programs on television. The NewsHour is a production of WETA Washington, D.C.’s major PBS-affiliated station, in association with WNET in New York. More information on the NewsHour is available at www.pbs.org/newshour. On social media, follow NewsHour on Twitter or like it on Facebook.