A sign of the times in broadcasting

In one innovative primary school, a small group of students is creating a news program like no other.

A sign of the times in broadcasting

A sign of the times in broadcasting Source: SBS

We have had to get their contributions spoken by actors so we can tell this story for radio, for reasons which will become apparent.


With a green screen, an iPad and some simple editing software, a small team of students at Klemzig Primary School in Adelaide is reporting the news.


It is quiet in this classroom for a reason, as deputy principal Jan Giorgio explains.


"All of our reporters are profoundly deaf, and they film the news every week -- local news, what's happening at our school, and what's happening around the world, and they edit that, and they add subtitles. And it's shown on different screens around the school so the students can access it. Also, the parents."


Tanya is one of 18 deaf students at the school and an Auslan, or Australian sign language, newsreader.


"We've got this program set up so that deaf people know what's going on in the world, because deaf people can't hear the news on the radio, they can't hear. So we need to find out information and share it around."


The students report on world news and local events in a special television studio set up in a classroom.


They edit their work, and it is broadcast later on screens placed around the school.


Teacher Sarah Lewis began the program, inspired by similar ones in the United States.


"It's important, because the hearing children pick up a lot. They overhear a lot of things -- their parents' conversations, what's happening on the radio, TV ... they might not necessarily be watching it, but they're hearing what's happening. And deaf children miss out on a lot of the day's events."


For one student, Prabin, who moved to Australia from Nepal last year, newsreading is helping him learn Auslan as a second language.


Like any other language, it can take years to master.


Creating their own TV news in a language they understand is a small step, the students say, towards tackling the issue of access to information many deaf Australians continue to face.


The situation is not helped by a continued shortage of Auslan interpreters.


Doing the news has also helped young newsreaders like Prabin build confidence.


"It feels good to work with the three of us together, and we're sharing this job, working together as a team."


There are added bonuses, too, as a young newsreader named Simon explains.


"It's good fun. And I get to skip a class as well."



3 min read
Published 7 September 2015 at 5:36pm
By Rhiannon Elston
Source: SBS