Newport News Public Schools TV and the Telecommunications Center

NNPS-TV is always busy with back-to-school videos and welcomes from the superintendent and others, but this year more so than ever before.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing school to be held online for the first nine weeks of the year, a lot of information needs to be disseminated to students, families, and the public.

The production team put together five different segments to create an informative episode of "This Just In" for the week of August 24. The Return to Learn show features Online Registration, Virtual Learning, Chromebooks and Hotspots, CoNNected @ Home, and the Canvas Learning Management System.

For the following week's episode, the team demonstrated the various ways to support schools with donations or when shopping with a rewards card.

To create these informative videos, the team used screen captures of the NNPS website to show how to register a student, stock footage of students learning online, and video shot by NNPS-TV videographers during Chromebook pick-up and other in-person activities.

Watch 'This Just In'
A new show airs each Monday, starting at 6 a.m., on NNPS-TV (Cox Channel 47/Verizon Fios Channel 17). The same show airs daily throughout the week at 6 and 8 a.m., noon, and 3 and 6 p.m. "This Just In" can be seen on the nnpstv.com webstream during the TV broadcast. Or, viewers may watch recent episodes on demand on YouTube, on the NNPS-TV video site and on Roku and Apple TV.

The "This Just In" episodes were edited by NNPS-TV Production Specialist Aaron Moore.

"The website footage is made by using a screen recorder that's actually part of the QuickTime program," said Moore.  "It allows you to highlight any part of a computer screen, or all of it, and record your movements."

The movement "adds a little pizazz" to images of websites, according to Moore.

The stock footage is necessary because there are not many opportunities to video-record students learning from home, but the team does use footage from some of the "pick-ups" for meals or equipment when possible.

With ever-changing recommendations and decisions during a major health crisis, the production team has had to remain flexible and also be especially careful about the information they convey to viewers.

They have to be nimble enough to change direction as a story is developing, re-write scripts, or revise shows in post-production. They have even prepared two different endings for a video to be used at different stages of school re-opening.

"The NNPS-TV team endeavors to maintain the highest standards possible in our productions," said Station Manager Jim Anklam. "All of our work is reviewed or proofed by another team member," he explained.

"In the pre-production phase, we fact check sources as we write," he said, "and then we have other team members check our scripts."

Occasionally the information changes and the team will make corrections as efficiently as possible. If the show has already been finalized, Anklam said, "it’s all hands on deck and the team makes the changes to the script, the voice-over, the graphic, and the final edit."

NNPS-TV Producer Nik Long tries to keep abreast of current information by chatting with administrators and staff when he is out on a shoot, and by checking social media for updates, in addition to the usual channels (NNPS Community Relations).

"As the producer, Nik is the driving force behind our high standards for accuracy and our efficient work flow," said Anklam.