Students get behind-the-scenes look at NJTV News

The NJTV News studio today had a few more camera operators, producers and reporters. They’re news professionals in-training — students with Philip’s Academy Charter School in Newark.

These are just a few of the students I mentor for PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, which connects middle school and high school students to local PBS stations and news professionals to create original student generated news reports.

“We find an idea of a story and then we work on getting video for it and creating a script for it and then producing it,” said student Jeffrey Love.

NJTV News has been involved in the program for the past two years. I usually visit the young journalists at school, but this morning we went on a field shoot to the new Agnes Varis NJTV Studio.

“I get to really experience what I’ve always seen on TV and get to see what really happens and what’s behind the scenes,” said Isabel Evans.

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, or SRL, launched in 2009. There are 100 labs nationwide.

“We have cameras, lights, tripods that hold the camera so we have a steady shot, we have a microphones,” said Adriana Brown.

And editing software too. It’s what these students used to create this news report.

In September they spent the day in New York City, covering the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate Day — a live, national special. They even made it on TV then too.

“It was extremely nervous to be right in front of the camera, it was my first time and for my first time I was interviewing someone really important,” said Alizah Rizvi.

That would be Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET.

“My favorite moment of teaching has been with SRL. It’s just wonderful seeing the students get to do everything,” said co-teacher Sara Mosle.

It’s means just as much to all of us here at NJTV News too.