What’s New About “The N.E.W.S?”


River Dalley, Writer

New Entertaining Watchable Stuff, also known as “The N.E.W.S” is a program made by Northwest Career and Technical Center’s Digital Media program.  Now that the new school year has begun, the Digital Media crew is gearing up to deliver a new season. The Mercury talked to second-year Digital Media students Brendan Conley (‘24) and Asher Ballantine (‘23) about how “The N.E.W.S” came to be, and what the crew has in store for the return of the program.

Despite the name, Conley said, “The N.E.W.S” isn’t a traditional news program.

“’The N.E.W.S’ is not so much the news as in we’re giving out news…we aren’t telling people what’s happening [in] the school,” Conley said.  He added, “It’s a bunch of random stuff that we Digital Media students thought was funny.”

Conley said the idea for “The N.E.W.S” originated from the Digital Media program wanting to produce a big project. The program took inspiration from a past Digital Media production “Between the Bells.”

“At the beginning, it was actually a real news thing where we would go out and film sports and talk about important things that [were] happening on campus,” Conley said. He added, “But eventually it turned into something more fun, something more creative that the Digital Media students wanted to make.”

Ballantine walked The Mercury through the process of making an episode of “The N.E.W.S:”

“Producing a new episode means getting into a brainstorming session, decid[ing] who’s doing what, how many segments [there] are going to be based on our time… Figuring out if some segments can be cut… and then dividing up into groups and getting it done,” he said.

Ballantine said he has been “working really hard” in order to contribute to the new season of “The N.E.W.S” 

“I hope to be able to work cohesively with my other students,” Ballantine said.

Conley said he plans on “mak[ing] his own segment” with his friends or bringing back a segment from previous “The N.E.W.S” episodes. 

“Whatever we do make is going to perform really well in ‘The N.E.W.S,’” Conley added.

The Mercury also asked Ballantine and Conley about their favorite previous interview questions from the “Between the Bells” portion of the show, a segment in which Digital Media students interviewed BFA students in the hallways (not to be confused with the predecessor to “The N.E.W.S” also named “Between the Bells”).  Ballantine said his favorite question was “What’s your favorite number in the alphabet?”

“It was kind of goofy when we asked,” he added.

While Conley did not respond with a “Between the Bells” question, he said that he was a fan of a segment where Digital Media students printed out a large Swedish IKEA blueprint containing instructions on how to construct a jet engine. They then went into BFA to see if any students would be willing to try to decipher it. 

“People were just flabbergasted by it,” Conley said.