JASPER, IN (WFIE) - Students at Jasper High School are getting early media experience, both in front of the microphone and the camera.
They're getting some hands-on media experience through the school's new media department that includes a brand new radio station.
Evan Elrod teaches Interactive Media at Jasper High, a class he says just recently came about.
"It was a bunch of photography classes," says Elrod. "And the photography teacher basically retired or moved on. And they decided, instead of replacing photography, that they would go into more of a digital direction of media."
Among other projects, students work every week to produce a news show called "Wildcat Weekly."
On Thursday morning, sophomore Derek Beckman hosted the school's first ever radio broadcast on 93.7, The Scratch, a station with 2.5 watts.
"I got kind of pushed into being on the radio," says Beckman. "And I just gave school news, played some good old Nickelback."
The focus of the class is on the technical aspects of skills like producing and editing.
Not everyone in the classes is planning on a career in the media, but there are skills to be learned there that will translate well into any field.
"I think a lot of people should take this class, because it makes people more outgoing and shows the confidence goes up," says Caitlin Jones, a junior at Jasper High. "I like it a lot."
"It does teach some things," says Elrod. "Like responsibility. People have to get here at 7:30 in the morning to get their show started. They have to be prepared every time they open that mic, so they don't fall flat on the face. And so it's a lot of life lessons too, not just about, 'Oh cool, I'm in a media class.'"
Mr. Elrod says he hopes to see the media department expand over time and to see the radio station grow and reach further than just Jasper High School.