By Cayden Royce
The Meridian Times
The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association awarded $1,800 to Haslett High School for the broadcast program.
DSBA is a nonprofit organization, which promotes sporting activities and educational broadcasting programs around metro Detroit. The nonprofit generates funding from its annual summer golf outing to provide applicants with grants.
Nearly 20 years ago, the organization shifted its focus to education and began promoting broadcast curriculums in Southeast Michigan up to East Lansing, said Marketing Director Bill Harrington.
Harrington is on the DSBA executive board and said he looks at the grant applications to decide how the funds will be distributed. Since the organization began supporting educational broadcast programs, Harrington said more than $400,000 have been raised.
“We try to give the schools something,” he said. “Something is better than nothing.”
In 2014, Harrington said the DSBA awarded more than $18,000 to schools and scholarship recipients statewide.
“This program, like a lot of other grant programs, sometimes have to shake the bushes fairly hard to get applicants,” said Michigan High School Athletic Association Communications Director John Johnson.
Joe Dutcher, Haslett High School’s video production teacher, produces the award-winning TV station, The Vision. He said it was created more than 20 years ago but he said he has been working on rebuilding the broadcast program since it was a nationally recognized program.
Dutcher plans the money to buy Internet and audio equipment for his students to broadcast school sporting events on the radio. He said that he hopes to teach more broadcast courses at the school.
“We’re going to try and intertwine our programs and work closely with journalism but the TV program is kind of separate from that,” Dutcher said.
Dutcher’s class is learning nonlinear editing and technical aspects of filming. The MHSAA School Broadcast Program is working with Dutcher to allow some of his students to shadow professional TV broadcasters at a Detroit Pistons game this year.
As a member of the broadcaster’s group, Johnson keeps students and schools aware of the opportunity to apply for the grant program. Through the high school association, Johnson arranges field trips for students and TV programs to go behind the scenes at collegiate and professional sporting events.
“The School Broadcast Program gives kids an opportunity to gain some real world experience and gives the schools the opportunity to raise money through subscriptions and advertising,” Johnson said.
The MHSAA website provides a link to Haslett High School sporting events and presents live shows for $9.95. A portion of the proceeds goes toward funding the school’s TV or athletic program.
“We like to say it showcases excellence in our schools,” Johnson said. “Sports might be the conduit, but it certainly provides the opportunity for the kids involved to get experience broadcasting all kinds of school events.”