Tuscaloosa’s high school broadcast journalism scene

BCN-TV, a news program formed by Tuscaloosa’s city schools (Paul W. Bryant High School, Central High School and Northridge High School), and PATS-TV, a news program created by Hillcrest High School, allow high school students to experience broadcast journalism.

Both programs have won statewide and nationwide awards. BCN-TV was awarded Technical Education Program of the Year by the Alabama State Department of Education. They placed third in Television (Video) Production at the National Skills USA Championship, according to their website.

PATS-TV’s sponsor, Jody Evans, won the Journalism Education Association’s 2012 Rising Star award, according to The Tuscaloosa News.

“PATS-TV’s popularity has grown so much that Hillcrest’s biggest rival, Tuscaloosa County High School, is starting a broadcast program, CATS-TV. Robin Ball, an English teacher at TCHS, decided to start CATS-TV after she saw what was happening in Evans’ program.”

-The Tuscaloosa News


BCN-TV’s website and PATS-TV’s Facebook page offer more information on the programs.


High school journalism affected the rest of my life

Brett Hudson

Brett Hudson is a sophomore majoring in journalism at The University of Alabama. Though he’s only studied journalism on the college-level for two years, he began reporting while in high school. Hudson worked as a sports reporter and sports editor for his high school paper, Washed Ashore. Washed Ashore is the student publication of Gulf Shores High School in Gulf Shores, Ala.

“Had it not been for my high school program, I would probably be on a
completely different career path,” Hudson said. He joined the program solely out of a love for sports, but thought he would eventually pursue a career in coaching or front-office management. However, his sponsor, Heather Bohon, was insistent about Hudson’s future as a sports reporter.

“She continually told me that I was a sports writer and nothing else.”

Hudson has covered Alabama football and baseball for The Crimson White and worked as a sports commentator for Tuscaloosa stations 90.7 FM and 99.1 FM. He’s interned at The Decatur Daily, located in Decatur, Ala., and will intern at The Tuscaloosa News this summer.

“If I had never enlisted in the high school journalism program, I would never have pursued the career path that I am currently looking forward to
spending a lifetime in.”

Check out some of Brett’s articles

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High school journalism allows me to learn with my friends

Jake Upton

Jake Upton is a 10th grader at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He has been involved with PATS-TV, a broadcast journalism class at Hillcrest, since the fall of his 9th grade year. PATS-TV, taught by Jody Evans, broadcasts a news program every Friday for the student body. They report on local news, national events and even make public service announcements.

“Ive learned many techniques with filming as well as a more creative mind when it comes to writing,” Upton said. Students learn to use video cameras and editing software in the course.

Upton said that the class has not only helped him learn more about journalism, but has also helped him in other classes.

“I have learned to be more careful as far as grammar goes and it has somewhat helped me get away from procrastinating.”

PATS-TV has also helped Upton get to know his peers.

“My favorite thing by far is the people I get to work with,” Upton said. “The program wouldn’t be any fun if i wasn’t working with friends.”

Check out PATS-TV’s Facebook page for more information.

Why I’m jealous of high school journalists

Morgan Upton

Morgan Upton is a senior majoring in journalism at The University of Alabama. Upton never encountered journalism study until trying out an introductory-level course during her sophomore year of college. Her high school, Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., did not have a journalism program during her time there (they now do).

“I felt really behind compared to everyone else when I was in the introductory-level course,” Upton said. “Everyone had all of this experience, and that was really intimidating for me.”

Upton said that she definitely would have participated in a high school journalism program if she had been given the opportunity. She started her college career studying education, but she thinks early exposure to reporting would have changed that. A high school journalism program could have helped prepare her to participate in student reporting in college.

“I would have felt more willing to become involved with student publications,” Upton said. “I would have had a better skills set to start with, too.”

Though she may have gotten a later start in the world of the media, Upton hasn’t let that stunt her growth as a reporter. After covering volleyball and softball for The CrimsonWhite, UA’s student newspaper, and interning for The Tuscaloosa News, she was selected as the Sports Editor for the Choctaw Sun Advocate, located in Gilbertown, Ala. She begins working for the Choctaw Sun Advocate in May.

“I don’t regret my path, but I still think high school journalism could have given me the boost I needed when I decided to become a reporter.”

“High school journalism is so important because it prepares future reporters. It also enforces important lessons in grammar and communication.”

Check out some of Morgan’s articles

Tide softball suffers third loss of season

It takes discipline to be a triathlete

Tide aims to remain unbeaten in non-conference play