Salem Lions News Network teams up with Salem Mayor Justin Green

Madelyn Moore

The SLNN news crew is pictured here. They are SHS grad Ty Sweeney, Seniors Cameron Albertson, Les Bowles, Maggie Gibson and Allison Clodfelter. 

Salem is beginning to develop into a town of constant change and new opportunities. Have you ever wondered what the town’s current state looks like from the mayor’s perspective? Tuning into SLNN (Salem Lions News Network), may give you the answer. 

SLNN has teamed up with Mayor Justin Green to keep community members better informed on the topics they care about. The program is called “The State of Salem.”

 JD Wade-Swift, the director of the club and broadcast, said the subject matter presented is based on what the mayor wants to discuss. The messages address issues that the public would like to hear about directly from the mayor, including road construction and flags on the square. 

“It’s really like The State of the Union Address that the U.S. president gives, but it is in a local area and not as long,” said Wade-Swift. 

Wade-Swift said the collaboration began with a conversation about being able to include a facet of civics within SLNN.

“Students need to see what happens in their community and this was a great way for the mayor’s office to bring his message, and for our students to get out of the classroom and into the real world,” said Wade-Swift. 

The SLNN Club was formed to give students an opportunity to run and operate a news network. They cover any SHS, SCS and community news, with the focus being on digital media. After a year of its creation, SLNN branched out to live-streaming sports and other events like graduations and board meetings.

 Senior Elaine Houchin, a member of SLNN said, “I love participating in SLNN because it gives me a chance to explore all parts of the career field I am interested in.”

Any student that is interested in digital media has the opportunity to be a part of SLNN. They offer on-camera roles and behind the scenes work.

Community members can support SLNN by viewing and sharing their social media. 

“The more shares the broader reach we can attain,” said Wade-Swift. We are also always looking for ways to get more involved with the community. Anything that we can do to support others, we would be willing to help out.”

SLNN is funded through grants, and they are always looking for ways to fund the program, he added. 

The students behind the live streams done for sporting events, as well as other events, take a sizable amount of time to prepare, set up and tear down. 

“The time the students put into all the events is unreal,” said Wade-Swift, “for example, a football game usually has 12-15 hours put into it. The students will work on it throughout the week doing interviews, watching video, asking questions from players, and setting up the stream.”

 The day of the game, they have a lot of setting up to do since SLNN is not in the pressbox, but instead they are under the bleachers and in the elements. Students must prepare for anything, including rain or lightning. 

“The dedication of the SLNN students is outstanding and I appreciate everything they do,” said Wade-Swift. 

Another Senior member, Maggie Gibson, a member of SLNN said, “I enjoy SLNN because it gives me an opportunity to experience the media and entertainment part of athletics.”

The State of Salem will be released every other Friday, on all of their social media and on the Salem Show. To watch, click here.


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