CCA sophomore shadows TV news anchor in Allentown
Morgan Glenn of Lehigh County had the opportunity to experience a day in the life of her dream career.
Around 1 p.m., Morgan Glenn stepped into the bustling heart of the newsroom to attend a meeting filled with television executives, editors and reporters. Later in the afternoon, she used a GoPro to help a videographer grab action shots on the basketball court. By the end of the day, Morgan had cruised in the news van, practiced presenting the weather forecast and sat in on a live WFMZ broadcast.
No, this wasn’t a day in the life of a professional news reporter — yet. Morgan is a high school sophomore from Lehigh County, but thanks to Commonwealth Charter Academy's career-ready emphasis, she had the incredible opportunity to spend a day shadowing news anchor Jamie Stover of WFMZ Channel 69 in Allentown.
Morgan’s passion for broadcast journalism started when a run at eighth-grade class secretary had her read her speech from a teleprompter. She ended up winning the position – which “was just the cherry on top” – but more important, she got a first glimpse into what she hopes will become her career. After last year’s presidential election got her hooked on politics, her aspirations grew.
When CCA's STEM conservatory manager heard of Morgan’s interest in broadcast journalism, he jumped in to provide her with hands-on experience and give her a trial run in the field. He reached out to a connection and got Morgan set up with a shadowing opportunity at the news station.
Morgan’s “day in the life” started with a tour of the newsroom, production studio and video-editing room, before she joined Stover on a shoot at a local high school to conduct interviews with basketball players. When the news team asked Morgan if she’d like to stay for the 10 o’clock newscast, she didn’t hesitate.
The day was a chance to learn the tips and tricks of the trade.
“Jamie explained to me that when you’re first starting out in this industry, you have to know how to do everything – writing, filming, editing – which I had no idea before. I’m glad I learned that early,” Morgan said.
Another surprising lesson? The amount of work it takes to deliver a newscast.
“When you’re watching on TV, you don’t see all that goes on behind the scenes. … I wasn’t expecting the amount of people and the work involved. It really takes a while to develop the newscaster voice, be a good writer and know how to edit,” she said.
Rather than finding the legwork daunting, Morgan is more excited than ever about her future profession – although she’s leaving some of the details up in the air for now. Whether talking political news or giving the weather forecast, she simply knows she belongs in front of the camera.
Her passion stems from a lifelong love of writing. “As a journalist, you’re able to create and craft the story – no one’s telling you exactly how to do it. You have some freedom to tell the story how you want,” Morgan said. She’s planning to expand her skillset at her church, which will allow her to experiment with a soundboard and try her hand at creating computer graphics.
“The greatest thing about CCA is the flexibility to go out and do things in the community. She would never have had an opportunity to do something like this with a public school schedule,” said Monica Glenn, Morgan’s mother.
Monica, who enrolled Morgan and her two sisters in CCA two years ago, said the school is the perfect fit for the family because it minimizes distractions and time wasters.
“They don’t have to spend time switching classes or riding the school bus, so their school hours are more productive, Monica said. “We have more free time now to spend quality family time in the evenings instead of handling hours of homework.”
Morgan’s schedule gives her time to participate in sports, including varsity cross country, track and rec league basketball.
CCA’s personalized learning has allowed Morgan to chart her course and select classes that she finds interesting. For example, this semester, Morgan is taking mass communications, allowing her to get a head start before beginning higher education.
She is considering attending Penn State – Stover’s alma mater – where she hopes to study broadcast journalism.