Written by the students of Fitch High School and trusted since 1928

The Falcon Press

Written by the students of Fitch High School and trusted since 1928

The Falcon Press

Written by the students of Fitch High School and trusted since 1928

The Falcon Press

The Students Behind The Falcon News

Naman Patel
Joseph Kraehnke editing a Falcon News video

Groton, CONN. – Students at Fitch High School have been creating daily high quality news videos, giving important announcements for a school audience to consume.

The Falcon News, Fitch’s official news announcements team, has for the past two years, been creating daily edited announcements about sports, extracurriculars, and other general information. It was created by video production students Alex Hankey, Koray Kavgaci and Joseph Kraehnke during the 2022-2023 school year, originally for sports announcements. However, it soon expanded out to doing announcements on everything happening at Fitch from fundraisers, to event announcements to even the weather. Kavgaci has since graduated, but  Hankey and Kraehnke still work on the news regularly. 

Since the beginning of the program being launched, certain responsibilities have been assigned to individual team members who work on the news to create a professional news broadcast. Both Kraehnke and Hankey are the full-time co-hosts of the news program. In addition, Kraehnke is the full-time editor for Falcon News, and Hankey is the composer and graphic creator for the program. Daegan Smith, a new Freshmen recruit for Falcon News, serves as the host for the extracurricular announcement section of the news broadcast.

“Working on the Falcon News is an exciting experience because we are able to each create our own role in something we’ve created from the ground up,” said Hankey. “Also, it’s just a great time working with the crew and putting everyone’s ideas together.”

The news is recorded during CTL in the backroom of the video production room supervised by Mr. Graham, the video production and animation teacher. Within the backroom, a full news set and editing studio has been set up by IT Director Dr. Clint Kennedy and Computer Technician Andy Kidd with professional audio equipment, lighting systems, multiple PCs and monitors for filming, and editing.

Beginning recently, the students who create Falcon News have also been involved with creating the backgrounds, animations, transitions, music, and graphics specifically for the news program thanks to all the new technology they have now.

“The students have created some very advanced computer graphic images to produce a very informative and professional studio production of daily announcements submitted by teachers, sports results, daily weather reports, and breaking news stories,” Mr. Graham remarked.

“Working on the graphics for Falcon News has been fantastic,” Hankey commented, “I finally made the jump into learning Blender [a 3D Modeling and Animation software] over the summer and fall of 2023, which in turn has led me to always want to create something with it. With Falcon News, there is always something to update or change which means I get to make these new graphics and make this new music which I really enjoy doing.”

The news that Falcon News reads off every day is similar to the news read off on the morning announcements. However, according to Hankey, it doesn’t serve for a direct replacement for them, at least for now.

“Currently there are not enough viewers during the school day to justify the absence of the intercom morning announcements. However, our hope is that next year there will be a better time cut out for teachers to show the news in class,” Hankey elaborated.

It should be noted that Falcon News is not Fitch’s first official news broadcast program. The modern iteration of Falcon News we see today has only been around for less than two years while the original live broadcasts of the Morning Announcements began in 2013.

“We used to do them [the Morning Announcements] live in the morning when Mr. Arcarese was here at Fitch as the Principal,” said Mr. Graham. “He would come to the studio and say the Pledge of Allegiance and moment of silence. I have been here for 38 years, but we only started the Morning Announcements about 10 years ago.”

Falcon News has a consistent viewer base on Instagram where students typically find and watch the news.

One can watch new episodes of the program on the Falcon News YouTube channel (@FalconNews2023), and Instagram page (@falconnews_) uploaded every school day.

Episodes typically release at the end of CTL or at the end of the school day.

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About the Contributor
Naman Patel, Staff Writer
Naman is a junior at Fitch High School. He enjoys weightlifting, and is a part of the Robotics team. He also is a part of the Debate Team and the Falcon News Video Crew. He enjoys doing video production, computer science, and learning about history. He hopes in the future to become a software engineer who lives in a big urban city.

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