August 30th, 2007
10:09 PM ET

Problems viewing the program in fullscreen?

Hi everyone!  I'm Jeff DeHayes, Web Producer for CNN Student News.  "Web guy" for short.

I just want to take a moment to address your concerns regarding the inability to watch the show in fullscreen from the website.  

Right now, the only way to view the program online in fullscreen is to download/watch the podcast via iTunes.  There's no need to sign-up for anything, use an iPod or pay for anything on iTunes.  Here's what you do:

  1. Install iTunes on your computer by visiting: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=179950332
  2. Search for "CNN Student News" in the iTunes store
  3. Click the CNN Student News logo when you see it in your search results
  4. Then click the "subscribe" button on our iTunes page

That's it!  Now, every time you load iTunes, the latest episode of Student News should automatically download into your iTunes player.  Click play when it's downloaded, then right click the video and choose "fullscreen".

Have you found a different solution?  Post it here!  Questions?  Ask them here!  Until next time...

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 29th, 2007
04:36 PM ET

What the Heck Am I Looking At?

It's not a fly on the wall – they keep the studio pest-free (if you don't count the anchor).  When you see me looking off-camera at the end of a report or a Shoutout, I'm usually watching the monitor, a television that allows me to see exactly what you do.

True, this means I can see my big head bobbing up and down in my peripheral vision.  But one gets used to that.  I also get to watch the reports and interstitials that we air in each show, and that helps if I want to transition from one story to another or to explain how an ID Me is relevant to a specific report.

It also keeps me from staring at you like a deer at headlights... or an English major at a chemistry project... or a news anchor at a teleprompter...

Filed under: Behind the scenes
August 28th, 2007
07:39 PM ET

The Fast and the Furious

Hey, I'm Gerald Smith, the producer for CNN Student News, and the voice in Carl's ear during the show.

Pegged to Hulk Hogan's son's crash this week, the top story on today’s show is about the dangers that ride shotgun when teens get behind the wheel. We show a couple of video clips of ghostriding and street racing. Our intention isn’t to glorify these dangerous practices, just the opposite. We know how deadly they can be. And we’re not just saying it…check out the CDC’s statistics on teen driving.

We want to know, did the message get through? How did this play out in your classroom? Did students “get it,” or were they just jazzed to see The Fast and the Furious clips?

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 27th, 2007
09:22 PM ET

What Do You Think?

We had a zesty discussion today about whether to air the YouTube video of a pageant contestant's somewhat incoherent answer to a question about some Americans' inability to locate their own country on a world map (my apologies for all of the prepositional phrases).

There were a lot of opinions voiced at our editorial meeting. Some thought the video showed how easy it is to stumble in the spotlight; some thought it would have made a great "Before We Go" segment based on its comedic value; some thought it would appear as if we were making fun of the contestant.

Because the competitor was planning to respond to the incident on Tuesday morning – before many of our viewers would see Tuesday's show – we decided on airing a different segment instead. But we want to know: What do you think? Should we have aired it? Was it newsworthy? Would you like to see segments like it in the future?

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 26th, 2007
05:19 PM ET

Wherever You Are...

Thanks to Rebecca, who wrote in last Tuesday, and to Ana from Taiwan and to The Hien from Vietnam for viewing our show from abroad.  One of the things we find AWESOME about the Internet:  It makes us available to virtually every computer user on the planet.

We've received e-mail from students in Australia; folks from Asia and Europe have written that our show helps them practice their English.  So whether you're recording us on CNN Headline News from a Cincinnati suburb or viewing us online from New Delhi, we're happy to have you along.  And we're always looking for feedback, so please keep your comments coming our way!

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 23rd, 2007
05:52 PM ET

Guilty as Charged

Yeah, I stumbled.  It happens.  And though it's not something to brag about, I know it'll happen again.

Every once in awhile, I'll slip up on camera or sneeze or suddenly lose management of the English language.  Last night's ‘First Up' script read, "Mexico's president says the damage in the Yucatan isn't as bad as he'd expected."  And I was all right until about halfway through, at the "isn't as bad" part, when I had a reading malfunction.

Fortunately, this one was pretty subtle; I don't think our news director even noticed.  And if he did, he was probably thinking, "Just keep going, man – my pizza's getting cold."

You've no doubt seen other folks slip up on air or call someone the wrong name - once, my cell phone started ringing (which reminds me:  If any of my friends are reading this, don't call between 8 and 10 p.m.).  Mistakes are all part of the fun, and fortunately for me, so are retakes.

Unless they're kind-of subtle:  In that case, we'll leave ‘em in for you to catch.  But my phone's going on silent.

Filed under: Behind the scenes
August 23rd, 2007
03:20 PM ET

Viewer feedback is important to us

Honest, and not just compliments. (Which we will gladly accept though. Thank you for the kind words Fresno, California's Patrick Wilson.) We have a unique relationship with our audience, and it is important for us to know what you think, good, bad or anywhere inbetween. Every email and online comment is read with an eye towards improving the show, the educational resources or the website.

Feel free to ask questions and challenge assumptions, we may even use the feedback in a show or in this blog.

So don't be shy, drop a comment in this blog or send us an email

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 22nd, 2007
12:23 PM ET

Speaking of Careers...

To say that I'm a bit of a talker is a bit of an understatement. My older sister says all I did for the first year of my life was scream. After that, she says, I learned to talk and haven't shut up since. That's not entirely a bad thing: I'm now blessed with a job that requires me to talk.

One of the questions I'm asked most when I speak to students is what subject was my best in school. The talking usually prevented this from being "conduct." But when I started writing my excess words down, I noticed my English grades going up, and that encouraged me to write. But I never could've guessed that the work I excelled at on high school and college research papers would later help me in my career. From writing brief headlines that appeared on pagers (remember those?) to anchor scripts for CNN International, I found my strongest school subject becoming my greatest workplace asset.

Whatever you're good at – whichever subjects you find inspirational – can truly help you down the road. Sure, the tests you pass or the notes you play or the sketches you draw may only seem like schoolwork now. But if you love something, don't think it ends when the semester does. And if you happen to be a prolific pontificator (like yours truly), consider writing when you're not talking. You never know when you'll find yourself doing both for a living.

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 21st, 2007
06:30 PM ET

Why didn't Carl blog today?

Because he did double duty last night. He wasn't scheduled to anchor yesterday, but when we were uncomfortably close to airtime with no anchor in sight, Carl stepped in, probably fixed his hair, and got on the set.

He wasn't the only one who we went above and beyond their usual jobs. The program was formatted for another anchor, which means scripts, lower-third graphics and our web transcript all had to be changed at the last minute. (Take a bow Student News production staff, you know who you are...)

Filed under: Behind the scenes
August 20th, 2007
03:53 PM ET


Hello and welcome to my blog!  One of my favorite phrases is "back in my day."  It's like a warning that Grandpa is driving back to Memoryville, and you're trapped in the car.  I'm somewhat sure I'm not your grandfather, but...Back in my day, we didn't have blogs.  We put hieroglyphics on a tablet and hoped the mail donkey reached the next town before it died.  Well, that's a slight exaggeration, but the Internet was just getting going when I was in grade school, and things seemed farther away.  For example, if I wanted a new pair of drumsticks – I used to deafen myself and my neighbors on a garage drum set – I asked Mom for either a ride or a credit card:  The music store was 10 miles away, and mail order companies wouldn't ship something just because a 14-year-old promised to pay.  (I tried to argue that I made great grades, got along with my sister, and earned a steady living as a grocery store bagger.  They hung up.)

Today, of course, you have music, music stores, and news anchors at your fingertips.  So if you suddenly decide that streaming video and instant messaging just don't rivet your attention as much as they should, swing by this here Web page, and I'll do my best to regale you with spellbinding stories from the anchor desk.  And if you happen to have a question or three, like "Do guy anchors have to wear makeup too?  Have you ever messed up on air?  What's it like the first time you're on TV?" I might answer, "Yes, yes, and terrifying."

Thank you for stopping by, and please stay tuned for more topics taking center stage in your day.  I promise not to use hieroglyphics.



Filed under: Uncategorized