Students get early start in broadcasting industry

MARQUETTE — For over a decade, students at Marquette Senior High School have been learning the ins–and–outs of broadcasting. The class first started with video journalism, then it morphed into scriptwriting. And today, it focuses more on video production and modern media, as they learn how to produce, shoot and edit their work for the public to see.

“This is a chance for kids who are really interested in something that might be more hands–on and more career–applicable to take an elective class,” MSHS student broadcasting advisor Eric Hammerstrom said.

The class has averaged about 30 students per semester, who all have different reasons why they signed up.

“For a long time, I’ve wanted to be a sports broadcaster. Then I heard that Ryan Spitza, who had this class, got second place in the Michigan Association of Broadcasters competition for play–by–play. So I thought that’s something I’d like to get into,” play–by–play announcer Tyler Young said.

“My brother took the class a couple years ago. He recommended it and I took it. I convinced Jack [Mitchell] to take it actually, and the rest was history,” Ian Ogea said.

The most exciting part of the class is REDspn, the school’s very own broadcasting channel for local Redmen sports, which includes live video and audio streaming online.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn play–by–play, color commentary, camera operation and production, which we drop commercials into the broadcast,” said Hammerstrom.

And the students are well–aware of how invaluable this kind of experience is to their future in the field.

“It’s good to have this sort of head start on what I want to do for a living. I’ve already done a few jobs for the radio station. It’s nice to get this experience early because a lot of the broadcasting industry is experience. You got to have experience to get the higher–up jobs so it’s nice to get a jump start on that,” Young said.

“I definitely think no matter that it kind of prepares me because that’s not something that most people do in high school. It just kind of prepares me for other types of things I may do,” said Jack Mitchell.

“If I don’t have a class like this, students won’t know about those possibilities. They love their cameras. They love their phones. They like to take pictures. They’re pretty good at all of those things. But they don’t know how to make money doing it yet. And so I think if they get a taste of it here and maybe even a good enough taste of it here that they can jump into departments at universities and be really useful. Maybe be like a sophomore instead of a freshman, in terms of their ability. It could lead to a career,” Hammerstrom said.

If you would like to catch any of the REDspn broadcasts, go to and search Marquette Senior High School, or check out their Facebook page at