The Center for Mass Media Studies is located at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana. Students study and produce mass communications in the PNN Studio and Newsroom. For more information about what PNN does and how they do it, begin with the PNN news site.  PNN stands for the Penn News Network, and it has been a collection of high school students reporting on the news of Penn High School since the mid 1990s.  Kevin McNulty, advises students in the studio and in the field to help them improve their story-telling skills.

The Center for Mass Media Studies is primarily concerned with instruction.

Circa 2001, Matt, Lisa, and Michelle in the PNN Stiudio. Michelle is working on a teleprompter, Matt is directing, and Lisa is enjoying some backlight.
Circa 2001, PNN students preparing equipment for a news show production.

Students who enroll in Mr. McNulty’s classes learn the fundamentals of storytelling, news-gathering, ethics, research, and more. He and the PNN executive producers publish and maintain the PNN Staff Manual to help students understand principles, workflows, and concepts important to the gathering of news.

For their work in the Center, students in all of Mr. McNulty’s classes are creating showcase portfolios.  These portfolios are electronic and online, and they will soon conform to the guidelines issued by the Indiana Department of Education’s CTE (Career & Technical Education) work-based learning manual. PNN students have always produced portfolios, but now they will use them more to enter college and career.

Classes that Mr. McNulty currently teaches include:

  • Radio & TV I
  • Radio & TV II
  • English as a New Language (ENL)
  • Mass-Communication in Science, an Honors Biology seminar class

In summertime, Mr. McNulty throws open the PNN doors to middle school students for the Media Camp, a summer camp where high school students and middle school students work together on telling the stories of other camps taking place around Penn High School.