Mass Media Studies and Broadcast Journalism

You can read the complete class syllabus here.

Mass Media Studies at Penn High School includes:

Penn mass media students operating a video switcher. Every student touches every piece of equipment many times over a semester and year.
  • Mass Media & Technical Communication, I
  • Mass Media & Technical Communication, II
  • Telecommunications

The Penn News Network, PNN, is based on a tradition of students gathering and telling important stories of Penn High School. One of our mottoes that has emerged from our initials is People Need News. With this imperative in mind, PNN students span their community to report on news events and keep their audience informed.

You can read more about the class at PNN, in the class syllabus here, or on my district website. If you have questions about this or any class I teach, please use the contact form on the right to get in touch with me via email.


Course Feeds  ( Radio and TV I  |  Radio and TV II )

  • Announcement: Agenda for 30 May, 2017
    Good morning, and welcome back from your three-day taste of what's to come. Hope it was restful. 1. What is your next story?  (Memorial Day piece can still run, but you will have to make a decision about how far.  This Friday is the Penn Building Trades open house, from 5-8pm.  Consider doing a story on the house Penn students have built. Spring sports teams are still competing. Consider getting an interview. See the pamphlet on my desk called Letters About Literature. In it you will find Grace Inabnit, a junior who won semifinalist.  Interview and write about her.  It is a good story. And finally, consider writing a PNN Staff Manual entry.  You will find those resources on my desk.  You can interview one another for this web-story-credit writing.) 2. If you have the grades for it, please shoot a show for tomorrow.  Let's ramp up our social media so we can get as many followers as possible before summertime comes.   3. I will be at Schmucker Middle School today. You can text me or email me during class, and I will respond as I am able. Have fun. Do good work. Be kind to one another. Mr. McNulty
  • Announcement: Agenda for 17 May, 17
    A discussion about: format & channel podcasting our current product:  
  • Announcement: Agenda for 30 March, 2017
    1. Here is what is going on at John Adams High School; 2. Here is what is going on at Penn High School; 3. Take care of your grade to take care of your portfolio.
  • Announcement: Agenda for 7 March, 2017
    Good morning, all. We have a long agenda, please, so please consider each of the items below. 1. This weekend Penn is hosting a a big (HUGE!) Robotics Competition. They need media personnel. Please see the email I sent you this morning (from Mr. Parker). 2. Friday is a competition deadline for us (J-Day). Read over the categories.  Is there anything you have written or produced that you think would qualify?  If so, talk to Brandon & Joe. We gotta start planning our April field trip to Ball State. 3. We are shooting a show today that will air tomorrow. Good luck. 4. The team who is not shooting show, please complete the following: three archived stories one web story (here are some photos from last night's DECA Awards ceremony; someone can begin that story with my post on our Twitter account) one announcement 5. Sign up to cover the Robotics Competition this weekend if you can. Have a productive morning! Mr. McNulty  
  • Announcement: Agenda for 1 March, 2017
    1. Shooting 'A' Show; find the script here. 2. B-roll in Rundown (Links to an external site.) 3. Please archive two stories today.  4. Narwahl: editing Show 39 (Links to an external site.) 5. Writing Announcements & Web Stories & posting them here 6. Planning next story (Links to an external site.), next show (Links to an external site.), assignment board (Links to an external site.) 
  • Announcement: Agenda for 23 February, 2017
    1. Taking Care of Grades 2. Turning in Rundown for January Shows 3. Editing Show 39 4. Writing Announcements & Web Stories & posting them here 5. Planning next story, next show, assignment board  6. Viewing: Workshopping Scholastic Art Awards story Watching Today's Show  
  • Announcement: Agenda for 9 February, 2017
    Please open this agenda on Teacher Computer, on Whiteboard Display. Let Brandon & Joe be your guides. 1. Is this what PNN is really like? Nice work, Najha & Abbie et. al. Count it as your first Web Story (#7) of Sem II. 2. Zach & EJ, nice work here: (also a web story) Link 3. Here is one of our best shows of the year so far. Please tune in. Link 4. If you are not recording a show in Studio today, please turn in Announcement 6, Web Story 6, Announcement 7 & and continue to add to our body of knowledge (here and here (Links to an external site.).) 3. If you are shooting a show in Studio today, you are editing the Rundown & creating a new Script. 4. When you finish your work, shut down all things electronic and reflect in writing here. Have a good weekend, all! -Mr. McNulty
  • Announcement: Agenda for 2 February, 2017
    1. A New era in PNN 2. Team A & Team B a. rename yourselves and tour studio b. take notes and photos; post notes here and pics here. c. fill out rundown for Friday's shoot d. find stories here 3. New Era: PNN 360, Snapchat, ____  
  • Announcement: Agenda for 30 January, 2017
    Good morning, all. I am administering the WIDA test in the Testing Center (formerly the Writing Center) this morning.  I will rejoin you Wednesday morning, however. Sorry the quiz did not work...again! 1. Let's give it another shot today. You can use the article if you want. After completing the ethics part of today's work, read this article. PNN World will be reporting on it in your show. 2. If you did not fully engage in Tuesday's discussion, you may return to it after the quiz and do so.  3. Ethical Reminder: thank you Riley & Anne for contributing to this assignment (Links to an external site.). Nobody else wanted to make a contribution? Please read this document and this one and change your mind. 4. Are you planning to attend this afternoon's training session? We have not heard from all of you. Please respond here if you have not responded. If you are attending, please be sure to bring your reporter's notebook. 5. Before you leave, be sure you are working on an Announcement or a Web Story in a Google Doc. It can be on this article.
  • Announcement: Agenda for 26 January, 2017
    Good morning, all. Sorry the quiz did not work yesterday. 1. Let's give it another shot today. 2. If you did not fully engage in Tuesday's discussion, you may return to it after the quiz and do so.  3. Ethical Reminder: before we step into the studio and producing a regular product, let's use this assignment to create a PNN ethical reminder. 4. Before you leave, be sure you are working on an Announcement and a Web Story. That work will continue in the second semester, but its pace will be considerably slower.   
  • Announcement: Agenda for 24 January, 2017
    Good morning, all. I hope you are well this morning. 1. Let's begin by reading the paper: an Upfront Magazine article on fake news; (PW=ReadtheNews145) 2. When you are finished, please take part in this discussion. 3. When you are done with that discussion, please take this quiz. 4. After completing your work on fake news, go take a look at some of your stories. You will find them at username.  Consider your role in this news-gathering class.  Then, resume your work on your portfolio at Please post your best stories there. 5. If you finish early, you may go back to the magazine and read about Cuba.
  • Announcement: Agenda for 09 January, 2017
    Happy New Year, and welcome back! I hope you all had a restful vacation. Here is today's line-up. You do not want to miss THIS OFFER. It is a one-time deal, and it has an absolute deadline. How is your portfolio looking? Filling in the blanks is your motto for this week.  Good luck! -Mr. McNulty
  • Announcement: Oceans of Plastic
    Oceans of Plastic is the working SLUG of a project I am editing right now.  I can't wait to show you the finished product, but I need a little help finishing it off.  Here is where you come in. Shoot 30 seconds of "plastic bottle footage" use at Penn High School and drop it in this folder. Then, get the SHARE link to that footage and turn it in for ANY (that's right, ANY) assignment you have not yet turned in.  You may used your cellphone (horizontally oriented) or PNN cameras. This is a golden opportunity. Do not pass it up.  Absolute deadline is end of school tomorrow (Tuesday, January 10th). Get those clips in sooner if you can.  Here are some suggestions for shots to get: -wide shot of cafeteria with water bottles on tables or in foreground; -medium shots of students drinking from water bottles (or playing that silly water bottle toss game); -close-up shots of students drinking from water bottles (or playing that silly water bottle toss game); -extreme close-up shots of hands on water bottles, water inside the bottles, labels, caps, plastic of all kinds; -medium shots of recycling bins filled with water bottles (and bottles being tossed in); -whatever comes to mind.  Try to keep people in the shot. Remember, your audience does not care about the water bottles; they care about the people using the water bottles. Also, your goal is to show plastic water bottles are so much in use that we do not even think about them anymore. Important: shoot steady footage that uses lighting well. Use a tripod or lean up against a wall; I want no shaky footage. I will not use it, and I will not give credit for amateur footage. Instead, try to shoot the highest quality, most creative shots of people using plastic water bottles. Aim high! Also, if you want to shoot 5-10 seconds at a time and turn in several clips, that would be great. You can do that. Just upload each of those clips and RENAME them your name (Example: "McNultyBottles.mp4"). When I see five or six clips, I will see that you have 30 seconds of footage in total.  You can then use one link to turn them all in and get credit. Once you upload your clips, make sure you name them your name (Example: "McNultyBottles.mp4"). That will help me give you credit for your work.   Good luck with this project!
  • Announcement: Agenda for 22 December, 2016
    Good morning! 1. Post-flood reconstruction; 2. Welcoming back Ethan Sandock Shooting the Basic Shots Publishing the PNN Staff Manual Teams: Production, Notes, Audience 3. Getting those last stories done and in!
  • Announcement: Agenda for 30 November, 2016
    1. Our Current Show; where is your story? (did you send the email with toss, tag, location, and people?) 2. Multimedia stories: (Spellbowl Celebration, Swimming, et. al.) 3. Our New Website and Your New Portfolio? 4. Current Events HW: on Friday, there will be a quiz on this Upfront Magazine Article. Your Password to read it electronically is:  ReadTheNews145

  • Announcement: Agenda for 28 April, 2017
    Good morning, kiddos. Please begin your morning in PNN with a check of your grades here on Canvas.  By around lunchtime or so, I will update your HAC grade with what's in Canvas.  That means you should turn in as much as you can this morning so as not to be grounded until Prom.  (Begin with March & April Shows; it is so easy to turn in the SHARE link to the RUNDOWN.) Mr. Starkweather will be your guide for the day. A couple years back, we did an interview with Mrs. Riggs about lunches at Penn. It was a good one.  It might be on PNN012.  Well, if you can find that interview (and please put it in our archive, also for a grade), then you can take parts of it and combine it with this latest story to make a DANDY of a news package!  It is there for the taking if you are looking for a multimedia. As you are all enterprise journalists now, what is that next big story you are running down? Mr. McNulty
  • Announcement: Agenda for 26 April, 2017
    Good morning, all! Please log on to Canvas right away, and start taking care of some of those writing assignments.  You can't avoid 'em; you gotta get 'em done. Start now. The April Archive assignment is a good one. I share a link to a short video about our network. I think you will find it helpful, and I hope you make the connection to the archive and its importance. A show is in your future...maybe. We are going to have a guest speaker either today or Friday. Her name is Ally Marlowe, and she is a producer over at WSBT. She is going to talk about her role as a producer and share some of her work with us.  Let's think about a short bus field trip over to WSBT to see her in action. See ya 'round PNN way! Mr. McNulty & Mr. Starkweather
  • Announcement: Agenda for 20 March, 2017
    Good morning, all, and welcome back. 1. Rundown of the day's stories; 2. Keeping our website fresh (for competition) (i.e. Calendar, new stories, slider, social media) 3. CSI goes today & tonight (school board) 4. How does your portfolio look and sound?
  • Announcement: Agenda for 6 March, 2017
    Good morning, all. Hope you have had a restful weekend.  Here is the order of the day. 1. Production Team: please shoot a show; we are in need of fresh news. 2. Story Team: please produce stories; our show is mostly announcements. 3. PNN Memory Team: please archive 3 or 4 stories from the D drive of your computer. (If you do a search for your email address on that document, it should have 8-10 entries.) 4. Web Team: please see that our multimedia projects make it to PNN Features' Youtube channel, and that they are embedded in a web story. Good luck! Mr. McNulty
  • Announcement: Agenda for 28 February, 2017
    1. Front-loading b-roll; find it here. 2. Use the RUNDOWN to post where you are getting b-roll 3. Use the script as your guide for gathering b-roll 4. Let's avoid a show of talking heads:    
  • Announcement: Agenda for 6 February, 2017
    1. Kingsmen Nation information (see email) 2. IASB Competition (see email); J-Day Competition 3. Sports stories galore 4. PNN Show 36 5. B-roll assignment & the archive
  • Announcement: Agenda for 2 February, 2017
    1.  Avoiding the filibuster! Here is the solution: the B-roll assignment 2.  Show 34: viewed and discussed. 3.  New intro, new thumbnail, new... 4.  You are writing the first announcement and web story of the second semester.
  • Announcement: Agenda for 27 January, 2017
    Good morning, all, and let me say nice job on your responses to the fake news article. Some very thoughtful writing. God good. In a few cases, I asked you to respond more to your peers, so if you want to do that, you might return to this discussion. The article is here: Upfront Magazine (Links to an external site. (PW=ReadtheNews145) On this quiz, it was the last question that was problematic for you. Do some research into Open forums, Public Forums, and semi-public forums with regards to media outlets to understand the question better. If you want to retake it, you can. I have opened it back up so you can give it another shot. Nice work on show continuity.  (I go away, and you guys start producing a regular show.  Hmmm...something to be read in those tea leaves, I think.) Please begin work on the second-to-your-last show of January. I'm hoping a KOS is in the offing! Last thing. On Monday afternoon, we are going to be hosting a PNN Training day. It will be an in-school field trip where we spend B3 & B4 in the PNN newsroom and studio training for the work we do. If it will not be a problem to miss those two classes, please consider attending. Whether you are coming or not, please let me know via this form. Good luck! Have a good Day!  Have a good weekend!  Make a good show! See ya on Tuesday.  -Mr. McNulty  
  • Announcement: Agenda for 25 January, 2017
    1. Let's begin by reading the paper: an Upfront Magazine (Links to an external site.) article on fake news; (PW=ReadtheNews145) 2. When you are finished, please take part in this discussion. 3. When you are done with that discussion, please take this quiz. 4. When you have completed those assignments (and not before), then begin work on the third-to-your-last show of January. Good luck!
  • Announcement: Agenda for 19 January, 2017
    Wrapping up Semester I; looking to the future! 1. Thirty One Shows 2. Competition Show & Segments a. IASB (rules) b. J-Day 3. Your Showcase Portfolio (Final Exam)
  • Announcement: Agenda for 19 December, 2016
    Good e-Morning to you all!  I wish you all a warm and productive day. 1. Get warmed up with this look at immigration. 2. Take a look at your announcements, web stories, and multimedia stories. What are you missing, and how can you work to 'fill in the blanks'? Suggestion #1: write a entry in the PNN Staff Manual Suggestion #2: consider writing a story of local, regional, national interest. Please fee free to email me with questions. Have a good day; I'll see ya tomorrow. Mr. McNulty
  • Announcement: Agenda for 13 December, 2016
    1. Last Stories of 2016 2. Impact on Audience 3. Your Portfolio 4. KOS: CN Update
  • Announcement: Agenda for 18 October, 2016
    1. The adjusted schedule and some additional info. about EACC 2. Guidelines for taking the test; 3. National Merit Scholarships and other aid to scholars like you 4. In the news.... 5. Your last show
  • Announcement: Agenda for 6 October, 2016
    Good morning, kiddos. Sorry I could not join you today, but here are a few things you should take care of while I am gone. 1. Your grade.  Take a look at announcements & web stories you have posted to our website ( username). Then, grab links to those stories to turn in for Announcements and Web Stories. Exec Pros and editors, you can link to stories you have edited for other writers. If you need a story, look no further than our assignment board in Google Drive. 2. For the August & September shows, please use the SHARE link to the RUNDOWN to turn them in. Exec pros, please help newer students accomplish this task; we should have 100% turn-in rate on our shows. 3. Look at our Assignment Board. Look at our Rundown.  How do we get the other class's stories from Assignment Board to Rundown effectively? They are about to produce a number of multimedia stories, and those stories belong in our show.  Let's work that out. 4. Watch our latest show as a group on the whiteboard. Does it accomplish what we want/need it to? What revisions are necessary? Does it include Lindsey's story on Mr. Poling's class? Does it include Xandy's, Thatcher's & Sienna's piece on the Niles Haunted House? Do we have the right KOTS piece? How about the closed captioning workflow; is that gonna work? 5. New Show. We can shoot a Sports segment this morning. Do we need a new show? Can we re-edit the last one with a new sports and all the needed segments to make our latest product.  You decide. I will watch for the post. When it goes up, I will email it to all of the teachers. 6. Work together today. Do not leave a lot of work for a few people. Lend a hand by: writing a story for script writing a web story editing a multimedia story checking in and putting away equipment taking care of your grade Okay, that is all for me. It's plenty, I know.  Before I go though, I do want to say that though our LIVE broadcast of the Fanfest was not perfect, it was pretty good.  And it was a lot of fun! What should our next LIVE broadcast be?  Think about that. Have a nice weekend. Turn stuff in when you can.  I'll see ya soon, Mr. McNulty