By Natalie Mack

On February 3rd, 2021 Nantucket Community Television, which is Nantucket island’s local television station, launched its fourth annual “Whaler Media” program. This program was open to all students in middle school and high school. 

“Teen View was originally the only youth program we had. Since it is pretty advanced, I suggested creating a prerequisite program so students can learn the basics first. That’s how Whaler Media started,” Dee White, instructor of the Whaler Media and Journalism 101 program and lead editor at NCTV commented. White taught three classes of the Whaler Media program. February 3,5, and 10th on Wednesday and Fridays from 3-5 pm at the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club. These first few classes, known as the Whaler Media program, were a way for students to learn about the process of filmmaking; more specifically, documentary filmmaking. Camera and interview fundamentals were introduced and mini practice projects were completed in groups. 

Shortly after this, the course transitioned into what is known as “Journalism 101”. Journalism 101 was a new program idea presented to the NCTV team by the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, one of the sponsors for these programs. During this portion, students learned more about how to create a documentary. They not only learned how to develop good interview questions, but they also had resources available to them in order to gather information for their films or get in contact with people they needed to interview. Students were taught how to tell an interesting, unbiased story. Once everyone in the class decided on a topic they wanted to cover, they began filming and editing. NCTV allowed students to borrow cameras, tripods, and microphones from their station as well as providing them with editing software that was available to everyone, regardless of the type of device they had access to. “I wanted students to learn that TV production and film production are careers they can get into in the future,” White expressed. 

On March 31st, 2021, Whaler Media and Journalism 101 participants are expected to have a completed documentary to show to one of the sponsors of the program, with the exception of those students who choose to participate in NCTV’s other program called, “Teen View”. Teen View, which was originally the only youth program offered, is a more advanced version of Whaler Media. Students learn more about the art of filmmaking and are able to continue their originals films or create a new one if they’ve just joined the program or would like to pursue another topic. The completed films at the end of the program will be presented at the 2021 Nantucket Film Festival as well as sent to a variety of festivals and contests. 

These programs are sponsored by the Nantucket Golf Club Foundation and the Mass Cultural Council. They are in partnership with the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club and Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention. Because of their generosity, all three programs are free to students. “I feel it’s great that it is sponsored because it being sponsored opened a great number of opportunities that otherwise would not be open for students,” Andrew Daume, Whaler Media and Journalism 101 participant and Nantucket High School Junior stated. Students that joined the classes were able to develop a documentary topic that they were passionate about while other students came into these programs knowing exactly what they wanted to do 

Be sure to keep an eye out in the next couple of months for these documentaries to be published and if you would like to hear more about either Whaler Media, Journalism 101, or Teen View, please reach out to Dee White at dee@nctv18.org

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