CBC and WRAL-TV are known for a long list of “firsts,” and a student group at the station has now joined that list. Explorer Post 5 students recently achieved a milestone. For the first time, the group covered an event as a news crew, attending the Eagle Scout banquet on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
“This is the first time that any Explorer Post 5 group has ever done anything like this,” said WRAL-TV Digital Media Administrator Steve Elizondo. “This is very, very good, groundbreaking work!”
This work represents the efforts of 21 of the Explorer Post 5 students, nearly half of the members, all between the ages of 14 and 20. These students took their Saturday evening to work and learn how to cover an event like the North Carolina Eagle Scout banquet.
“The goal was to do two things,” said Elizondo. “One, to get interviews with Eagle Scouts from all over Central North Carolina to use in a marketing video for the Occoneechee Scouts. Two, to get enough of a variety of content so that we could finish a quick turnaround video submission for the 11 o’clock news on WRAL. The team did that and succeeded in fine fashion!”
The event took place at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. Crew call was at 5pm for the 6pm event. There were eight reporters among the students, led by Post 5 President Lexi Swartz. The editing team was led by Aidan Reed, a junior from Broughton High School.
“Watching them create the edit (that aired only two hours after the event was over) was very inspiring for me,” said Elizondo. “They just had fun, encouraged each other, and never once acted like they were under any pressure!”
Elizondo, a long-time WRAL staffer, helps mentor the group.
“Ken Bland, a long-time Post 5 volunteer who works at SAS, WRAL-TV Maintenance Engineer 2 Chris Cormier and I are fortunate to be in the advisory role at this juncture in the history of Post 5,” said Elizondo.
Preparing for the event coverage took not only a team of students, but the support of a team of WRAL staffers.
“A special thank you goes out to members of the WRAL newsroom and WRAL.com,” said Elizondo. “We would not have been successful without the coaching of Gerald Owens (Reporting), Lori Grant (Producing), Richard Adkins (Vieography), Jodi Glusco (Web Content), Natalie McGugan (Event Reporting – Mobile), and Tim King (Lighting and Field Production).”
The students got a big thumbs up from their WRAL mentors, as well as on-air kudos from WRAL-TV Anchor Ken Smith and Meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth, who presented the Post 5 package during the 11 o’clock WRAL newscast.
“This entire experience is a testament to the teamwork and professionalism present at Capitol Broadcasting at large, and WRAL-TV in particular,” said Elizondo. “What this group of young people achieved is nothing short of amazing!”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Steve Elizondo for these capcom photos & video.