SRL student newsroom at INPUT, international gathering of public media stations

students with cameras, filming an interview

June 5, 2024

CHARLESTON, South Carolina — From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to NHK in Japan, over 250 public broadcasters from across the world come together yearly to share and discuss their production projects and learn from each other. This spring, for the first time in many years, the INPUT conference was again held in the U.S., in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Approximately 80 programs are selected each year, to be shown over several days to public broadcasters and those interested in public media.

In collaboration with SCETV, the local PBS station in South Carolina, SRL alumni and students and teachers from Horse Creek Academy and West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies joined SRL staff for a day of reporting and filming, and sharing their perspectives as student reporters with an international audience.

In a panel discussion with Student Reporting Labs founder Leah Clapman, students and alums shared how the reporting and interviewing elements of journalism helped grow their confidence in talking to people in their community and expand their understanding of others’ perspectives. 

“If you don’t really know what’s going in other places in the world it’s kind of a blind spot,” said Jose Hernandez-Cruz from West Ashley High School “and I feel like it’s really important for young teenagers to know what’s going on around the world, because what happens here can also impact what happens in other countries.” 

The students talked about the importance of public media in today’s crowded media landscape, “Public access provides an important role to educate rather than to manipulate,” said Austin Garcia, also of West Ashley, a goal that he has incorporated into his work. 

Students interviewed INPUT committee national coordinator for the country of Colombia, about on a YouTube series called Divergente, produced in Colombia, and a staff member of the division of the Swiss public broadcaster focused on social-first content for young people. 

“The highlight each year for the conference is bringing people together from so many different regions. From the continent of Europe, South America, Africa, Asia– all in alignment in the importance of why we do the work we do,” said INPUT President, Judy Tam. “Without sharing different perspectives, stories,  current affairs, and historical information, we don’t have the cultural sensitivity that we need. This conference creates a lot of partnerships, co-production opportunities, and mutual understanding.”

“It was wonderful to see so many films from diverse perspectives and other cultures,” said SRL’s editorial director, Marie Cusick, “particularly public broadcasters who are prioritizing making content with and for young people.”

Stay tuned for more on the student-reported interviews in the months to come!