The bell rings and third period has begun. Students sit, pencils in hand, waiting for the teacher to begin their lecture. However, their teacher announces that, first, they will be playing the latest episode of VNN. Excitement fills the room as students wait for the latest updates on their high school. “Did you see VNN today?” is a question repeated by many as the day goes on. Students and teachers alike enjoy these fun, informative, weekly videos. This raises the question: what goes into producing VNN, and how has it become such a beloved piece of the North Mecklenburg High School community?

The Viking News Network (VNN) is one of North Mecklenburg’s most prominent sources of school updates, event recapitulations, and even entertainment. VNN began producing episodes in 2022, and currently has 18 available on the Student Hub. This student-oriented club has been pivotal in cultivating school spirit and bringing North Meck Vikings together. Although it was created just a little over a year ago, VNN has become an integral part of the culture at North Mecklenburg.

The advisor of this club is Mr. Byers, a North Mecklenburg CTE teacher. He has experience with media and journalism which has helped him guide students in the process of producing these school news videos. For Mr. Byers, his real-life experience in broadcasting has helped him truly appreciate this student-led news network. One of his favorite parts of producing VNN is “the students taking ownership [...]” and how “they get to learn a real-world skill,” as he mentioned in an interview with The Viking Voice

Feedback from the North Mecklenburg community in regards to VNN has been overwhelmingly positive. Students and teachers alike are excited to hear that a new episode is coming out, and there has been a large amount of student interest in producing episodes. For Amira Johnson, a junior at North Meck, this community feedback has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a part of VNN. She said that, “knowing how much it’s enjoyed by teachers and students [...] makes it fun to create.” Amira has seen how these weekly episodes have brought North Mecklenburg students together in giving everyone “something in common to talk about.” 

However, the club has faced its fair share of challenges. Mr. Byers mentioned that one of these struggles was “trying to get the resources” to film and edit the episodes. He often tells club members that “doing a show like this [...] takes work,” and explained that this work requires the correct resources in order to create the best-quality episodes possible. VNN members have put in hard work and effort in order to overcome these setbacks, and have successfully achieved many of their goals. 

VNN is motivated to continue improving and meet their current goals. Mr. Byers hopes that, in the future, students will “continue to take ownership of and be proud of representing North Meck.” He values how the club is student-led and is excited to see club members gain confidence and self-sufficiency in the work that they are doing. 

If you are interested in having your club advertised on VNN, contact Mr. Byers with either graphic or video, and the club will work on including it in the next episode! 🆅