SRL Partner Station of the Month: October 2016

Black River Falls High School, Black River Falls, WI

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Photo by Bob Lindberg/Arizona Public Media

In addition to providing public affairs and educational content across the Grand Canyon State, Arizona Public Media serves as a virtual mentor to Black River Falls High School in Wisconsin and Shenandoah High School in Iowa. Recently, AZPM started a new SRL Lab at Baboquivari High School, located within the borders of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

After meeting at the SRL Student Academy during the summer of 2015, Senior Editor and longtime SRL partner Steven Bayless became a mentor to Mya Long, then a student at Black River Falls High School. After Mya decided to attend the University of Arizona to study Film and Television, Steve recruited her to become a part of the AZPM team. We asked Steve to share his thoughts on teaching the next generation of journalists.

Why is it important to build the next generation of public media producers and participants?
I believe that we should all follow the advice “each one teach one.” Our legacy is in the generation that follows. It is our obligation to pass on what we know and help those that come after to get a good start on their own professional path.

If we all had limitless resources, how could we make the Student Reporting Labs program in your community even stronger?
I believe that everyone has a story to share. If we could get more schools involved we could help those students illuminate what is going on in their communities. More equipment and more mentors to guide our future media professionals is key. Being involved in Student Reporting Labs has been a blast. I’ve learned from the kids and felt pride at sharing what I know. I feel a lot of other professionals would benefit from this experience too.

What made Mya stand out at SRL Academy?
It’s easy to see how focused Mya is about storytelling. She’s already a good shooter and editor. Mya is the kind of person you know will go far if given the chance.

What was it like working with her as a virtual mentor?
The work she was involved with was already solid. She took my advice in stride, asking questions and incorporating new ideas to build a better piece. Mya was focused on telling the best story she could and worked hard to meet that goal.

What will she be doing at Arizona Public Media?
Mya is going to be a great addition to our student crew. These folks are involved in many aspects of our daily production. Mya may be called out to assist in the field or to operate a camera in the studio. Primarily we’ll enlist her skills on the post-production side of things. We have three weekly shows that have many elements that need to be built and then pulled together to create the final programs. We foster all our student crew members to grow and expand their skill sets. With her keen eye, I can see Mya becoming a valuable asset to Arizona Public Media. We’re lucky that she decided to study at the University of Arizona.

Does it excite you to know you’re opening doors for SRL kids?
I’m thankful I can give something back to SRL. Meeting Mya and encouraging her to join the student crew at Arizona Public Media is exciting. I was given similar chances when I first got into the media field and am glad that I can help someone else. All the kids I’ve met through SRL are wonderful, talented folks. I wish them well and will always be available to help.