Native American high school students gain hands-on media experience

Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast Workshop

Northern Arizona University is opening the media lens to twenty Native American high school students this summer. The Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast Journalism Workshop kicked off this week and the students are buzzing around the newsroom telling their stories.

The fifth annual workshop gives students the opportunity to learn broadcast news while working in the School of Communication’s student media center newsroom.

“The reason I continue to come back are the people and the instructors and it seems to continue to get better and better every year,” said Tayla Hawkins, fourth year workshop participant.

Working alongside NAU students and broadcast journalism professionals, the Native American students will produce multimedia audio, learn how to conduct oral history interviews and produce a live-to-tape television news broadcast covering the day’s local news.

“I’m helping the students set up different camera equipment, audio equipment and directing them to conduct an interview,” said Scott Buffon, School of Communication journalism student. “I am here to be a mentor and to guide them throughout their experience.”

In collaboration with industry sponsors, students work closely with KPNX, the Heard Museum, KTAR radio and a number of local businesses in the community. The workshop is supported by the Arizona Broadcasters Association and TEGNA media.

“This workshop is an opportunity for students to get an introduction to broadcasting skills. My goal is to empower these students to be the storytellers in their own communities,” said Toni DeAztlan-Smith, assistant professor of practice in the School of Communication.

Student productions and photos of their experience can be viewed on Facebook.