A new era of news has entered the halls of Luverne High School, and it has to do with the way their students get the news. They call it Cardinal Television, and it's hitting the air for the first time this year.
"The school newspaper was just kind of declining in popularity; a lot of kids weren't reading it anymore. It seemed like we had tons of extra copies laying around. So, we thought about how we could improve that," teacher John Sichmeller said.
As a business and computer teacher, Sichmeller proposed the school newspaper be replaced by a television newscast based on the work of three students in another school organization.
Their first news experience came in the basement of Jackson Frankenhoff, using some of his dad's equipment.
"He kind of has a technology background and connections, so most of the stuff we used was from him at work," senior Jackson Frankenhoff said.
"When we chose the broadcast news team, we set up some chairs and stuff, set up lamps and shop lights on it for good lighting," senior Bryan Stanley said.
From those humble beginnings, Sichmeller turned the idea into a class with 20 students.
"I just thought it would be a fun class to be a part of; something new that we've never done before," senior Cody Rofshus said.
The excitement of a new program is what brought the students in at first, and they ran with it from day one.
"Coming up with fresh ideas. Things they see that maybe they think are cool on YouTube or just different places like that. We might take an idea off that and see how we could use it," Sichmeller said.
The class is teaching students that a television newscast doesn't simply appear on the screen.
"You can't just really throw it together in a couple of days. It takes time to go through to make a good quality story and then go through and edit it so that it fits into our time frame," Sichmeller said.
"Lots of video editing, learning how to use different programs to make the green screen look good when we use it. Just editing all the clips together, making them flow," Rofshus said.
"We actually use little cue cards that I'll hold up or things like that. They make up their own script and then we kind of go from there," Sichmeller said.
The show is rising in popularity with each episode and is even attracting viewers from outside the school walls.
"I've had a lot of people that I don't even know that come up and say how much they love watching our Cardinal TV. Kids that are in college now that went to Luverne High School have come back and said how much they like it," Sichmeller said.
"It's gotten pretty big, and it's awesome. The kids, that's like the number one thing they look forward to. I'll always have middle schoolers come up and say 'When is the next CTV? Are we going to have one this week?'" Frankenhoff said.
"Everyone knows us now. We walk down the hall and people are like, 'That is the news team,'" Stanley said.
High school television is often where some of our best broadcasters get their start in the industry, but for these kids at Cardinal Television, all they want to do is have some fun and show their students the news of the day.
"Recording up here in the studio, it's a lot of fun. We make a lot of jokes during it and we try to keep it serious, but it usually turns into lots of jokes. It's a lot of fun and it's a great way to share the news," Rofshus said.
Based on the reception, they expect this to be the most popular way they share the news well into the future.
One way the students are promoting their show is through social media. They are posting all their episodes on their school website and sharing the episodes on Facebook and Twitter.