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Sophomore Provides a Fresh Voice on KYW Newsradio

mk haasz

The voice of sophomore MaryKate Haasz recently graced the airwaves of KYW1060 with a report about Cheltenham’s Unified Track program. Challenge teacher Elaine McGoldrick recommended Haasz for the KYW Newstudies Student Reporter program because of the opportunity it would present to the aspiring writer interested in developing her writing skills. Listen to her report>

“This is our 51st year for the newstudies program,” said KYW Newsroom Operations Coordinator, Dennis Edward in a story broadcast on KYW after the program kickoff October 13. "We teach them about broadcasting. We have KYW Newsradio reporters, anchors and managers here to teach the students.”

Since 1968, KYW Newsradio has given high school students the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a major market radio station with the Newstudies student reporter program. In KYW’s four-week fall program, students learned news writing, reporting, ethics and interviewing skills from station managers, editors, reporters, anchors and guest speakers. The students practiced turning television stories into radio stories and vice versa. Haasz’ takeaway was how to grab someone’s attention in a short period of time.

“Selecting the topic was probably the easiest part of the project,” said Haasz, who enrolled in the program to learn more about herself and develop her writing and speaking skills, but not because of an interest in a career in broadcast journalism. “We were told to talk about something we are passionate about and others would be interested in. To me, Unified Track is an opportunity every school should have, and it’s an experience all students should have the option to try.”

After she chose her topic, Haasz (pictured above with a Unified Track teammate) interviewed a few of her Unified Track teammates to gather their opinions about Unified Track. Her interview with classmate and Unified Track teammate Ava St. John fit the story best. Before recording, Haasz read her story to family, who offered tips on how to improve. Finally, she recorded the official story in a soundproof recording studio at KYW.

“The editor fixed it up right on the spot,” said Haasz. “I actually got to hear what it was going to sound like, which was pretty cool. It was a little weird hearing my voice with such an official program. I noticed parts where I should have slowed down, or where I should have been clearer. Even with my own brain picking out the parts that I could have improved on, I was overall proud of the final recording and the story I had written.”

Under the guidance of sponsor Gus Ekhardt, Cheltenham’s Unified Track allows high school students with and without intellectual disabilities to collectively represent their high school in athletics. The team showcase the skills and dignity of their athletes and bring communities together to see and participate in the transformative power of sports.