Goodman Community Center | East High ‘Tower TV’ is must-see TV

East High ‘Tower TV’ is must-see TV

For the past 16 years, Madison East High School has had a student-run monthly YouTube program “Tower TV.” It’s time to add it to your watchlist.

November 20, 2023 |
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The student staff of "Tower TV" video tape a segment for an episode.
“Tower TV” crew and cast (l-r) Marcus McCaleb, Madison Delyea, Trayvon Leal and Arthur Nelson record a segment.

By Leo Link, Eastside News

For the past 16 years, a staple of Madison East High School has been its student-run monthly YouTube program “Tower TV.” With a new school year having started, it’s the perfect time to add it to your watchlist.

“Tower TV” is a mix of both entertainment and educational media, for the consumption of both students and community members interested in what is happening at East. Every episode covers sports — such as the segment about the East football team in the first episode — but also serves to inform about clubs, events and features on students and staff. This information is made entertaining through creative film techniques or entertaining skits embedded between segments.

“(“Tower TV”) is an opportunity to entertain and inform the community, and for … students to learn by doing and producing each episode,” April van Buren, the adviser for “Tower TV,” said.

Instead of a traditional class, where the teacher decides the curriculum and leads lessons, this class is student run.

“It is up to the students in the advanced broadcast class to decide the content of each episode, and my job is more of a coach to make sure we do not do something illegal or unethical,” van Buren said.

Starting his second year on “Tower TV,” junior Sam Strawser is currently one of the editors who was able to take van Buren’s intro class, video production, early.

“In freshman year I had taken an online summer (physical education) class, which meant I had an open period … so my choices were either parenting (class) or intro to video, and that was a pretty easy choice,” Strawser said. “Ms. V saw a freshman who could meet deadlines … and she snapped me up immediately.”

As one of the two editors, he is responsible for making sure everyone meets their deadlines, compiles the episode and organizes the planning meetings.

“(I enjoy) the freedom and the alternative assignment structure. There isn’t really assignments or a learning process. You really learn by doing,” he said.

The process for creating episodes starts with each crew member compiling a list of ideas, followed by one of the two editors facilitating a meeting. The meeting takes place two days after the previous episode airs. Each member’s ideas are discussed and voted on. The student staff then chooses which segment they would like to participate in. Then for the next two weeks, “Tower TV” students plan, film, edit and revise their segments, until finally the episode airs at the end of the month during the school year.

To view episodes of “Tower TV,” including an archive of past shows, visit ehstowermedia.com or search Tower Media East High School on YouTube.

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