Behind the scenes at the PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate

Video produced by Jordan Vesey.

The night of the PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin four Wauwatosa West High School students had an all-access pass to film behind the scenes. Pushing past the tight security and NO ENTRY signs, they interviewed the event director, city mayor and major political analysts.

During the week leading up to the prime-time national event, students worked closely with PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs mentors Jordan Vesey and Anita Wright to learn everything from camera angles to how to send a newsy Snapchat.

High School Senior Zoe Stack learned that being a reporter means much more than asking good questions. “I have to know how to utilize and do everything. I have to know how to shoot, how to write and definitely how to use social media,” she said.

The students see themselves as the vanguards of public media journalism.

“We are the next generation of citizens in America, so I think that youth need to be able to learn about and experience things like this,” said junior Rick Shear. “If we slack off on the education of the youth of today then we are just going to end up with a bunch of people who don’t really know what the news media is all about and don’t really want to do it as a result.”