Cranberry’s Veterans Day program brought to those who couldn’t attend

Veterans and their families who couldn’t attend the Cranberry Area High School Veterans Day program on Thursday were able to view it on the school district’s YouTube channel, thanks to the school’s journalism students.

The student-produced production involved about two dozen journalism students working behind the camera, troubleshooting or acting as the emcee. In addition to the assembly, the production also included interviews with veterans.

“Today I was directing the cameras and adjusting the volume for everything,” senior Jordan Anderson said. “I was also directing the camera crews and feeding them information on the program. I was a little nervous when one of our cameras didn’t work and we had to fix it during the program. Beyond that, it went pretty well.”

Anderson is no stranger to streaming. “I have done streaming on the side and I sort of knew what I was doing. I think it would be great to do something like this later in life. I might pursue this in college.”

She worked with journalism teacher Trisha Dixon, who said, “There was a lot of work that went on that people don’t see. The kids were so excited. I had kids who stayed until 6 (Wednesday night) and others who came in (Thursday) at 6 a.m. They did a wonderful job. They were nervous. One boy was asking what to wear, and he wasn’t even on camera.”

Dixon said the entire journalism class had a “pre-program” using three cameras in a studio scenario. “They did interviews with each other and we had our host, Henry Milford, practicing, too.”

At the assembly, three camera crews were used.

“Every team had a director, a person on the white board where follow-up questions were written, a camera operator. The director is connected to the other teams and the hub by radio,” Dixon said.

On the day of the assembly the students started early.

“We started about a half-hour before the assembly began,” Dixon said. “Henry Milford, our host, shared facts and stories about Veterans Day between interviews and the events in the program.”

No production goes off without a hitch, including this one.

“I told the class they had to be flexible and no one freaked out when the camera broke,” Dixon said.

The livestreams, she said, started in 2017 with just an I-Pad. “The district was very generous in upgrading our equipment.”