Telling Your Stories

by Ariel Vargas
ENN students John Kitchen and Alyssa Carter anchor the weekly ENN Now newscast from Epic’s Oklahoma City studio. Courtesy photo.

Students who are interested in studying journalism, video production or just learning how a TV news production comes together have new opportunities at Epic Charter Schools. 

The goal is to provide hands-on experience in making media. Those who complete the curriculum have the opportunity to become skilled in design, photography and layout, all of which are in great demand professionally, as well as learn TV news production.

The goal is to prepare students for media jobs or to study journalism or media production in college, and make participants savvier digital citizens. 

Current classes include project-based courses in Desktop Publishing, Intro to Journalism, and Photography and Audio Production, with a focus on podcasting. Expanded offerings and potential certifications in working with still photos, videos and professional layout software are all on the horizon. 

ENN Students (from left) Joshlyn and Jenna McKey work camera controls and teleprompters at the newly expanded ENN Studios at 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City. The studio upgrade includes robotic cameras and a separate control room with improved production controls. Courtesy Photo.

But it’s often the draw of producing a streamed newscast that gets students in the Epic News Network door. 

“These classes will allow students to have more involvement in studio productions,” said Phil Cross, Epic’s student journalism and creative media director.

These opportunities will also help students in the future in a professional setting. With Oklahoma’s film industry continuing to grow and trained designers, editors, and audio engineers in great demand, ENN’s practical approach and accompanying classes have broad career potential.

The revamped studio consists of a dedicated control room and features robotic cameras, adjustable sets and lights, a dedicated podcasting area and roundtable, talk-show-style seating. Not only is the expansion going to give Epic students more hands-on work, but it will also help the school’s teachers and staff with creating new curricula in the studios. 

“This allows them to replicate classes that they would normally have in person,” Cross said. 

Epic senior and newscast regular John Kitchen said he started with ENN because it sounded interesting, and a bit intimidating, too. Now finishing his first year with the program, he’s done a bit of everything, from anchoring to audio, and he has enjoyed it all. 

“It’s fun to write. It’s fun to be in front of the camera. It’s fun to be behind the camera,” he said, offering some advice: “If you’ve ever watched a newscast and are curious how they do things, try it out.”

Top Photo Caption: ENN students John Kitchen and Alyssa Carter anchor the weekly ENN Now newscast from Epic’s Oklahoma City studio. Courtesy photo.

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