Lion TV grabs spotlight

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 29, 2013 at 9:49 a.m.
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Emily Van Zandt

Searcy High School juniors Lacey Hall and Dylan Rohr prepare to tape a newscast for Lion TV.

— The students in Jacki Romey’s broadcast journalism class are doing big things, and getting national attention.

At the Student Television Network National Convention in Los Angeles on March 7-10, the class received $5,000 from U.S. Education TV for the students’ community involvement in the city of Searcy.

“We try to cover events that are happening in Searcy, with the Humane Society and festivals around town,” said Romey, who has been the Searcy High School journalism faculty adviser for 14 years.

Romey said the members of Lion TV, the high school’s television station, attend the national convention every year.

At this year’s competition, students participated in on-site competitions, where Landan Keichline, Seth Cleveland and Ainsley Pinchback received an honorable mention in commentary this year.

The students in Romey’s class range from freshmen to seniors.

Romey said she enjoys seeing students who begin the class not knowing much about broadcast journalism transform into students who are essentially in charge of production every day.

“[I love] seeing the kids grow,” Romey said. “They’ll start [my class] not knowing how to tell a story, and they learn how to go out, shoot a video and put it together.”

Romey said she plans to use the money the journalism program received to upgrade some equipment in her newsroom and help students go to the conference again next year.

Senior Bradley Taylor has been in Romey’s class since he was a freshman at Searcy High School.

“This class gives me the chance to expand my opportunities,” Taylor said.

At the national convention, students were given the opportunity to listen to professional journalists and get some tips on how to make it in the world of news.

“I liked getting to learn the different techniques by professionals,” Taylor said.

Carl Azuz, the anchor of CNN Student News, gave students at the conference pointers on reporting and anchoring in the professional journalism world.

“He taught us about what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re anchoring,” said Emma Howard, a senior in Romey’s class. “He also told us how to find a story and share that story.”

Taylor said Romey gives the students in her class the chance to be creative and expand on their own ideas in the shows they produce each day.

Students involved with Lion TV produce a daily show titled Jumpstart and a weekly magazine show titled In Focus.

The daily show focuses on school announcements, and the weekly show features news from around the community and videos that the students produce each week.

Romey said each show the students produce is uploaded to useducationtv.com. The website is used as an archive for the shows that Searcy High School students produce.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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