SRL Partner Station of the Month: March 2016
WFYI Public Media has been inspiring the Indianapolis community for over forty years. SRL mentor and WFYI producer Aric Hartvig is always encouraging the students at Arsenal Technical High School and their teacher Donna Griffin to push the boundaries and think creatively.
We asked Aric and the President and CEO of WFYI Public Media Lloyd Wright to tell us why public media is different and necessary.
What is your reaction to finding out WFYI was selected as SRL partner station of the month?
Aric Hartvig: I was so excited to share the news with our team here at WFYI. I know a lot of us here are working hard to help out in the schools through the American Graduate Initiative. This recognition just inspires me to keep getting better!
Lloyd Wright: We are delighted to be recognized for our role in helping teach students about journalism. Education is a core pillar of our work in central Indiana. Our involvement in the Student Reporting Labs is one of many ways – including our work with the public media initiative American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen — in which WFYI helps to nurture enthusiasm for learning and the commitment needed to stay on the path to graduation.
In your opinion, why is it important for public media stations to mentor young people like those who participate in SRL?
Lloyd Wright: Public media is a trusted source of journalism excellence in our country today. Students in the SRL program are learning from the very best in the business, while they gain empowering experiences in all aspects of the field. By our participation in this program, WFYI is helping to shape a new generation of professionals with the journalistic integrity that not only characterizes public media today, but will carry the industry forward.
Aric Hartvig: Education is a part of public broadcasting’s mission. PBS NewsHour is providing students the opportunity of a lifetime by giving them hands-on experience in storytelling. The SRL program is bringing the world into the classroom and giving a voice to kids who sometimes feel like no one is listening.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Reporting Labs mentor?
Aric Hartvig: When my kids realize that this is a chance for them to do that creative thing they’ve always wanted to do. A lot of times they approach it from the perspective of what they think the teacher or I might like. When they realize that this is a chance to say what they want to say about the world around them, a switch is flipped. Their energy and creative spirit motivates me as well.