This year, Wildcat Weekly is entering its 18th season. Though the news show is viewed most Fridays, many do not know how the show is produced. All students shown on Wildcat Weekly are in a class called Broadcast Journalism. To be eligible for the class, students must complete the prerequisite of Media I.
The process of creating the show begins with story ideas. Broadcast Journalism students are divided into four groups, each creating a show once every four weeks. Students meet within small groups each led by a CP, coordinating producer, to collaborate on story ideas. After they decide upon the show’s material, students are assigned their stories and given two weeks to get them shot and edited. This process includes scheduling and conducting interviews, obtaining B roll (footage other than interviews to demonstrate the subject matter) and completing voice overs. After these tasks have been completed, approximately a week after the story has been assigned, students use Wednesday as an editing day.
Once the show is completed, everyone in Broadcast Journalism gathers to critique the production. This includes grading other students on their stories. This process is designed to help students recognize problems in their own stories while helping others improve, explains one of the coordinating producers, Eli Au Buchon. “In Wildcat Weekly there is a wide range of experience. Critiques help students of all levels look at things from a different perspective and improve their future stories.”
In the past three years, Wildcat Weekly has been ranked in the top three news programs in MMEA, a competition designed by the Midwest Media Educators Association, winning first place in both 2016 and 2017. Although they enter competitions, the group’s main focus is not winning. Instead, they “want to focus on telling insightful stories that have substance and can share information with the student body.”
Story and photo by Orion Elrod