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Mr. Butwell from Lawndale CA is requesting Technology through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Documentary Broadcast Journalism

My students need one digital hand-held camcorder.

  • $576 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My urban high-school journalism class provides cutting-edge personal narratives on teenage pregnancy, coping with parent on drugs/in jail, sexual abuse and dealing with parent murdered...all the issues that students on my campus experience, yet administrators want to censor in the newspaper. Luckily, I still have my job! My students produce an eight-page student newspaper six times a year with a focus on writing personal narratives and journalistic style writing primarily on educational issues. Students readers have responded in amazing ways to students' personal narrative, opening up to the writers and sharing their own struggles with sexual abuse, depression, a murdered family member,etc.

With the state education budget cuts, my annual journalism budget was reduced from $5,000 to ZERO! We have responded to this challenge by selling food and advising, plus have credit at the printer. With this proposal, we plan to produce 18-minute documentary-style broadcast journalism stories to be shown on campus TV program produced by video production class (and Pod cast on school website) and use media skills to complete a 30-minute documentary on boys' baseball and girls' softball seasons to sell to students/parents to continue funding school newspaper (since there are limitation on when we can sell food on campus; basically, one week every two months). Students will watch professional documentaries before shooting their own to see how producers use multiple settings, camera angles, multiple perspectives of interviewees and have a storyline line running from beginning to end. Student will also use storyboard to plan out story before shooting.

There is just one resource needed to get my students started: a digital video camera. (I confess I would use my own family camera, yet my wife would kill me if I took it to school!) The project will serve my students to experience the similarities/differences between print and broadcast journalism in a one semester class. They will work on an ambitious project in which they emulate the style and form of professional documentaries. In completing the project, they will use their creativity and learn a variety of broadcast journalism-media skills from planning and decision-making(using storyboard to plot out story scene by scene with multiple settings), interviewing (coming up with right questions to ask) camera shooting (using a friend who has won an Emmy), and video editing (collaborating with video production class). Overall, I hope the project inspires students to capture success stories at my school and encourage them to consider broadcast journalism as a career. Students will be able to work simultaneously on print/broadcast journalism stories in the class. A key aspect of this proposal is the video produced with the camera will be sold to provide funds to print the newspaper.

Your help will empower my students to tell their stories. Telling success stories and capturing the obstacles students overcome to achieve success is vital in low-income urban areas because so many students struggle to achieve educationally. The educational gap is widening between rich and poor in our country, and I do not think low-income students do not succeed because they can't; the problem often is they lack support and encouragement, role models and they cope daily with many life-related issues other students do not. The current graduation rate at my school is 60%, and I strongly believe that capturing students struggles/successes in print/broadcast journalism serves as an important source of inspiration for students to succeed. I know this project will have a life-long impact as well because my former journalism students come back to help students in the class.

Mr. Butwell
Grades 9-12
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latino, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

This project will reach 50 students.

7 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
CANON DC330 DVD CAMCORDER • Best Buy $379.99 1 $379.99

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6 Donors


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