BY SABRINE BRISMEUR
Cowboy Television won’t be covering local suburban Cooper City news this week — instead, the broadcast team is flying out to Anaheim, California to compete at the annual Student Television Network (STN) convention.
“I’m pretty excited to be traveling to California,” first year CTV member Danielle Siso commented. “CTV did really well last year, and hopefully we can do it again, not just as classmates, but as a family.”
The STN convention, long-awaited by members of Cowboy Television (CTV), takes place over the course of four days, from Tuesday to Friday.
However, CTV will leave on Sunday morning to enjoy the city and tour the Griffith Observatory. On Monday, the team plans to visit amusement park Knott’s Berry Farm before hitting the mics. Beginning on Tuesday, student broadcast journalism teams from around the country compete in team and individual contests during the convention.
Crazy 8s, an all-staff competition, involves creating an eight minute show in eight hours based on a given prompt.
“It’s very intense,” junior Isabella Tocci said of the rigorous team competition.
Last year, CTV placed second in the Crazy 8s competition with the prompt, “Good morning, STN.” But complications with the school team that placed first eventually resulted in their disqualification, leaving CTV to claim the first place prize and return victorious from Atlanta, Georgia.
“The most interesting thing about Crazy 8s is not necessarily watching our school compete, but seeing how other schools handle it and what they do,” added Tocci.
Though members of CTV expressed anxiety concerning the pressure to live up to last year’s accomplishment, especially having a significant amount of first-year broadcast students compared to veteran members, senior Jason Chua has few doubts.
“I’ve been in CTV for four years and it’s my last year,” said Chua, who is the longest-running member on staff. “It’s super bittersweet. And I know because of last year there’s a high expectation. But I know this year we’re gonna do our best. I have confidence in this group. We have a lot of very talented and very motivated people.”
CTV has been practicing in anticipation of Crazy 8s for weeks, working for eight hours at a time to perfect their time management skills and ensure Anaheim will be some of the best work they’ve put out. On Saturday, the team took a trip to practice at Pine Crest School along with Seminole Ridge.
“Overall, I think our Crazy 8s practice went really well,” student journalist Jakob Wolk said. “We made deadline, which is 70 percent of the whole conception. I felt our show was complete. All of the aspects of our show — news, sports, weather and entertainment — were all very strong and combined to make a solid show.”
After the opening ceremony and Crazy 8s competition on Tuesday, the team will split apart into groups to pursue individual categories — a news-based day on Wednesday, and a free-form based day on Thursday.
“We’re assigned a prompt for each individual category, and given a certain mile radius to go out and get a story that fits it,” Tocci said. “It’s hard because we’re not from around Anaheim; we don’t know where to start sometimes.”
Wednesday sticks to hard journalism with news segments like spot features, lead stories, and nat sound packages. Thursday gives students to chance to try their hand at more creative pieces, like movie trailers and short films, where acting is oftentimes involved.
Broadcast journalist students have to create their pieces in an editing room where only two people from the group are allowed in at a time, and phones are strictly prohibited.
On Friday, the convention comes to an end with the winning announcements and closing ceremony. CTV members will leave during the night and arrive early Saturday morning.
But for now, they’ll be enjoying their new CTV gear — a logoed windbreaker, shirt, sports-style zip shirt, and cap meant to be worn on each day of the week as a team.
“It’s really cool to be able to represent our publication in a place where there are so many other programs just like ours,” junior Casey Chapter said. “It gives us a sense of unity, because we can see now how working together helps us to take home awards, and we can show other schools that we have that family aspect.”
As they head off to California, Cowboy Television is hopeful that this year will be even more successful than the last.
“It’s an old tradition of ours that we all run up to the judges’ box and chant CTV,” Wolk said. “We do it to show all the other schools across the nation who we are and why we’re number one.”