Chastity Salas (Fall 2011)

Hello World!!!
My name is Chastity Salas and I am a young reporter in our school’s “FLTV” news. I am currently in the 11th grade in Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School. I very much enjoy this class… I mean, after all, it has had quite the positive effect on my life. I mean I remember the very first time I watched an FLTV episode. I was in my freshman year and I really was entertained by it. That episode instilled in me a passion, to just go out and report on topics that occur right here in my community. Luckily, I ended up in the class merely two years later!! I have learned a great deal of skills on reporting, conducting an interview, and the importance of editing. With the great help of my teacher Pam and my awesome classmates, I am sure to learn everything needed within the world of Journalism…

Producer’s Blog #1: Reflection on Producing Season 7, Episode 1

I worked on the segment that focused on “Anti-Gay Violence,” along with fellow reporters Jessica, Corey and Madeline. Initially, the episode was supposed to be mainly focused on the sudden murder of an unknown man within our community. In the beginning, we planned to film how much of the violence that occurs here in the Bronx goes unnoticed… However, our minds quickly jumped to another concept. Since the concept of Violence happens to be quite broad, we were still figuring out what concepts would we want to expose and show to others within our school. Then, FLTV was assigned to view a play presented at, “Pregones Theatre.” Though Jessica and myself were not able to attend the trip, two of our group members attended the trip and actually filmed the play. After our group fully witnessed the play, our minds were set… we were going to pin point our topic of Violence towards the raging concept of Anti Gay Violence. Since the play at “Pregones Theatre” was mainly focused upon bullying towards one’s sexuality it, in a way, altered our whole plan. We then, watched an older episode of FLTV and noticed how the students had put together a little skit, which attracted attention and got out a message targeting Safe Sex. From then on, we had everything covered. Corey, wrote a skit about Anti-Gay Violence and had us each look at it and decide which role would role we would want to star in. But, the very next day, he was absent and we could not find the skit. So, with no further adue, Jessica, Madeline and I rewrote the skit. Then luckily, we found the characters which many of whom were was in the same class as us. After casting everyone, now we had to record the skit. This surprisingly went very well. Since the skit had already been taped, we decided early on, someone should introduce the skit and interview the main character. Corey took the role of introducing the skit, and I, happily agreed to take the interview… since I enjoy interviewing people and getting a chance to hear their opinion.
Hope you enjoyed this segment!!!

Reflection On Trip To Democracy Now:

So on November 30th, 2011, FLTV went to the studio of the independent, non profit news station. This news station is called, “Democracy Now.” I must say that as I even start to begin my experience of my time there I break into a huge smile. I honestly loved my time there. I learned a great deal. So here is everything I learned from that wonderful experience… Before visiting, “Democracy Now” my favorite news channel was ABC 7, I enjoyed watching the morning and evening news segments. I loved to imagine how it would be like to work in that News company when I was older. However, my view on ABC 7 has changed greatly. When we got to the place, we sat down (just in time) to where the amazing Amy Goodman was broadcasting the news. After watching the hour-long segment I noticed the vast difference between that news segment compared to ABC 7’s news. I observed that the topics were more focused upon DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, and the rights to PROTEST rather than the newest update on which celebrity was wearing what, or what the newest video on YouTube. I was amazed at how much topics there were regarding the people, and their voices. I was also very content with the amount of awareness that gave out to the audience on topics like Climate Change. Me being that I care VERY much for our environment, I was struck by the information I was learning from this news. For example, there was this one segment which talked about Fracking, (Before watching Democracy Now, I had NO idea what was fracking was, and how it harms our Earth.) Fracking is a method that basically drills down many miles underground in search for Oil. Many corporate owners want to act upon this practice for financial reasons. Lastly, the trip to Democracy Now has taught me a lot about the media and how it actually is a business on how the news can influence people.

How is Fannie Lou TV a vehicle for social change?

Now in this era in which we live today, we rely heavily upon the media world to get messages… both positive and bad. When we want to know what is going on in the world we can check our local town’s news channel, newspaper, radio channel, or simply check the Internet that now streams through our computers, phones and even our televisions. Everything that we can access is now in the palm of our hands, and fortunately this remains the most helpful engine in connecting important events to people and their lives. This is what “FLTV” hopes to achieve with each and every episode it produces…and it produces Change within our school as well as our community.

Change begins first by having people be aware of whatever situation is happening. Change is not within a moment, it a series of moments. Capturing people’s interests and finding reasons to draw them into the situation that you are trying to build awareness about also create change. This is how Change begins. You must first get people aware of the subject you are trying to advocate for, because people simply assembling and fighting for something they have no clue about will not achieve Change. For example, the Occupy Wall Street movement that is occurring down in Wall Street New York began through the exchanging of information through social media. Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of media served as the vehicle of drawing people’s attention to what was occurring in the world. Must I not forget that in the very historical uprising in Egypt, the majority of the protestors were between the ages of 13 –24… and guess, just guess, how they were assembled and brought together? By being aware of what their country’s government was working on to harm them. How did they become aware? It was all through social media! All in all, I believe that social media helps influence and educate people because it is everywhere, and sometimes it can be nearly impossible to, and I quote, “miss what is everywhere.”

Fannie Lou TV not only pertains to the students in the school, it can be viewed by just about anyone who searches FLTV and finds us on the website. But the majority of our viewers are within the school community. In my opinion, I would say, that Fannie Lou TV isn’t for a specific group of people it is for everyone. But our messages are for the youth… to stand up and be aware of these situations that are occurring in the world, and sometimes even in your own backyard. It is to educate the young people and influence them to want to make a change within their communities as well as their own lives.

One of the many changes that have been occurring in recent events happens to be the whole Occupy Movement. When this movement moved over here to New York’s Wall Street it was just beginning here. And we were lucky enough to capture some footage at the very start of this incredible historic movement. This is, and has been a very historical movement not only here in New York but throughout the world. Luckily, we bore witness to these historical events. This benefits our community because it is bringing us, the youth, an awareness of what is going on and what we can do to help make a difference.

Having access to each of these media tools make me different from many young people within my school and my community. Why? Well, because in the Fannie Lou TV class, we are first taught how to use a camera, how to edit video footage, and much more before we actually come up with ideas to begin an “FLTV” episode. Having an idea to make a difference is wonderful but when you have the infinite help of media communications such as, a news show; it becomes stronger, powerful, and meaningful because you now are able to share your thoughts and feelings with many other people within our world. Using the internet like writing blogs or creating websites based on your ideas makes your initial idea of change become even stronger. And that is what FLTV works on accomplishing every single day.

Awareness means nothing without social action. Social action is needed when you want to make a change. People assemble together to begin the start of change by protesting, advocating, and speaking up for what is right. This is social action! And all of these forms of social action get started off based on the broadcasting of an idea. Before change, before social action, and even before awareness, an idea is thought of, accepted and then enforced to then create these forms to begin change. To me, I honestly believe that awareness is not enough for change. Like I’ve mentioned, change is a series of events, it is not made in a day. I believe that an idea must be created first, before the following actions to create change are acted upon.

FLTV serves as a news organization within our school community. It initially began within our school around the time where Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency and since then it has been successfully accepted and welcomed. When our young viewers find out that there is another episode of FLTV coming out, they get excited because they are eager to see either themselves, their peers, or even the different styles of topics that we report streaming from our school. Teachers as well, are very eager to be able to express with their students what we are working hard to produce… the school news for our fellow classmates.

Having the chance to be behind it all, has been truly an amazing experience… I mean taking part in this class has shown me a lot, not only about Journalism but also of the real world events that are occurring throughout my community and the world. I adamantly feel that it had been my destiny to be a part of this fantastic crew… because in many ways it is helping me prepare for my future as a journalist. From creating questions to brainstorming about what topics should our next episode include has really shown me how much work is put into the news.

Nowadays I watch the news in a whole different light. For example, ever since I got selected to participate in this class I have been rushing home before 5:00 pm, so I can watch the “Eyewitness News at 5:00” with newscasters Sade Baderinwa and Diana Williams. (Sade Baderinwa is my idol in the world of Journalism and I would love to meet her someday!) When I watch the news now, I critically observe how the newscasters read the news (now that I know there is a teleprompter in front of them.) I also pay close attention to their tone of voice between the different genres of each news story. Like for instance, if there was an unsuspected murder that occurred in lower Manhattan, the reporter/s will read in a serious almost urgent tone of voice. Not only because it is a serious event, but because they want to grab your attention to see if there is anyway you could help with the solving of this crime. It may seem quite weird but I watch how they present themselves while the camera is rolling. I watch to ready myself because sometime in my future I just may have the career of broadcasting the news and I want to be perfect just like the professionals are!

Because of my experience of going down to “Democracy Now!” with my FLTV class, I now can notice the difference between news shows that are sponsored by big corporate companies and those that are non-profit news organizations! I myself watch ABC News (channel 7) and after the news coverage story, the news briefly pauses for a series of commercials. I noticed the many distractions because of the many commercials that show after the news begins. Sometimes, you can be more focused on the commercials rather than the news and that to me, as an avid viewer of the news is a bad thing Because ABC News is not a non-profit organization it advertises the companies that sponsor their company. The policies from their sponsored companies affect the news they broadcast. This is the major difference I learned about the production of news. Lastly, I really hope that I can be able to be in the warm and welcoming community of “FLTV” for next semester because I want to perfect the reporting skills that I have learned this semester. Why? Because I would love to see the growth of the reporting skills I learned throughout the semester as well as the future. Lastly, I want a chance to look back and be able to visually witness my growth as a young reporter, because reporting the events to people is what I love. I am happy to be a part of this class and look forward to being a part of this class next semester!

March 5th, 2012 – What is your production plan for this week?

This week FLTV is preparing for the next episode for the Spring semester… we have a lot in store that we wish to broadcast to you all. For this episode, we have a total of seven segments we are working very hard on. The segments are “Black History Month,” “School Closings,” “Police Brutality,”Community Violence (About the Film The Interrupters and the Community Block Party)” “Student Govt. Update,” “Sports,” and “Bullying.” Our team is looking forward to posting our latest episode up, and for our viewers… you all to comment on our latest work!

I myself, will be working on the “Black History Month” segment. Hope you’ll enjoy!!! 🙂  

Presenting our latest episode to different Advisories and to Marc’s Sociology class…

First off, before I begin I would like to sincerely thank Kim’s, Rachell’s, and Alison’s advisories! I also, would like to thank Marc’s Sociology  Class for allowing us to present our latest FLTV episode. So, as some of you may know… we presented our latest episode to some advisories and there we held an discussion.  The discussions shared was pretty moving…

Elvin is a beast and so am  I^_^.