Central Times

Who controls Hawk TV and what is it for? It depends who you ask.

Art by Yoo Young Chun

Art by Yoo Young Chun

Riddhi Andurkar, Managing Editor

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Every Tuesday at Central administrative team meetings, topics of discussion include curriculum, school operations and future goals for the school. Once a month, on the occasion that the team has 10 to 15 minutes to spare, they will preview the monthly Hawk TV.

Hawk TV, Central’s broadcasting club, is also known as the “Redhawk Ramblings On Air” and is responsible for putting together a monthly video to articulate a variety of the school’s weekly announcements.

“[Hawk TV] is the only co-curricular activity that we interrupt the whole school for,” Dean of Student Activities Lynne Nolan said. “[We preview it] for quality control purposes. Sometimes we find that it could be spelling errors, it could be [a wrong time]. I cannot think of a single time where we have said ‘no, you can’t run that segment.’”

There are many factors Hawk TV members must consider before the final product is watched by the entire student body. The process starts with story brainstorming, with input from Central administration.

“The deans will give us stories that they feel the school needs to see,” Assistant Editor-in-Chief Shannon Piper said. “[They] suggest things for us because we are the only club in the school where everyone is forced to see the things we create.”

Along with suggestions, the administrative team previews monthly Hawk TV episodes, looking to see that the episode is informative and accurate.

“In several cases there have been stories that the administration has given to Hawk TV to record,” former Hawk TV President Drew Kanne said. “If the message is not present or has not been delivered in an effective way in the video, then the administration will get back to Hawk TV with notes on what to change.”

Sometimes, the administrative team encounters a segment of Hawk TV that does not appear to serve its purpose and asks members to remove or replace it.

“Sometimes the Hawk TV [episode] would come out and it would be 15 minutes long and in that 15 minutes there’s a three-minute piece on the upcoming choir concert, but it’s a drawn-out skit that lasts for about three minutes and now all of a sudden Hawk TV is 15 minutes,” DeanRoger Strausberger said. “[We ask them to] cut that down for time’s sake.”

The administrative team seemed to agree that the purpose of previewing Hawk TV episodes was to ensure that they were factually accurate. However, some members of Hawk TV disagree.

“Broadcast media is a triangle of information, entertainment and short,” Piper said. “You can only have two. [Zach and Drew] were going for entertaining and informational, but the [administrators] wanted [it to be] informational and short, so we had to shorten it down.”

Junior and Hawk TV member Ethan Smith does not understand the deans’ point of view when shortening episodes.

“It’s not lost on us that we need to be informative,” Smith said. “But at the end of the day when all the funny stuff gets cut out and you’re just left with short awkward videos, it’s dumb. No one likes it. We know that. That’s what people don’t realize. We know we could be doing better, but we can’t.”

October’s Hawk TV episode included a short segment about vaping. There seemed to be a miscommunication between both school administrative team members and Hawk TV members about the origin of the idea.

“We’ve seen a rise in our vaping referrals,” Strausberger said. “We went to Hawk TV and [asked them to] revisit [the topic].”

Strausberger, Piper and other members of Hawk TV stated that the vaping story topic was presented to Hawk TV by the deans. However, Nolan was under the impression that the idea originated from members of Hawk TV themselves.

“They are able to take on stories as they want,” Nolan said. “They did a segment on vaping. We didn’t ask them to, we didn’t tell them to. They wanted to do something that was more newsy.”

One thing students have noticed is that the popular segment “Drew & Drew” was absent from many of the monthly Hawk TV episodes last year.

“[Sometimes], the final product of Hawk TV was being delivered to the administration either the day before Hawk TV aired or sometimes even the morning of,” Kanne said. “When that happens, if something that needs to get cut for time restrictions or for [being] too goofy, [administrators] are going to cut it and there is no time to reshoot anything.”

Administrators have also asked Hawk TV to not include certain segments due to the seriousness of the topic.

“We had a suicide [at school],” Hawk TV adviser Katie Long-Piper said. “The parents [of the student] wanted me to do something. I didn’t feel comfortable because the whole school sees [Hawk TV]. I went to [administrators] and they said to not run the story.”

Central administration does not prior review or dictate content for any of the school’s other student publications.

“[The] Central Times can operate as its own journalistic [organization],” Kanne said. “Hawk TV often times does not because we have been granted the privilege to have every student in the school have to watch it by the administration. The administration uses it as a tool to get out certain messages or stories.”

Nolan believes that the administrative team provides helpful suggestions to Hawk TV to increase the amount of information presented in its monthly episodes.

“The mission of Hawk TV was to relay information to students,” Nolan said. “We’d be missing the piece from the deans if we said the deans’ voices were not important. It has to be collaborative, otherwise we are missing information that should go out to students.”

The administrative team and Hawk TV have yet to specifically define the of Hawk TV.

“We’re infotainment,” Long-Piper said. “A years ago, everybody wanted to be funny Hawk TV. I went to administrators and [they] the balance [between information and comedy] was off. Balance is what’s important.”

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Who controls Hawk TV and what is it for? It depends who you ask.