By Mary Waggoner, Everett Public Schools Director of Communications.
Henry M. Jackson High School students’ perspective of the Oso mudlside was captured with video interviews in the inaugural broadcast of the Jackson High School News Network on May 2, 2014.
“We were the only high school journalism group to be allowed on site,” said Zach Anders, editor-in-chief for the Jackson News Network.
“It (the opportunity) came about when I ran into Councilmen Terry Ryan at a Mill Creek City Council Meeting nearly two weeks after the disaster,” explained Anders. “We discussed the event and the conversation shifted between how the media was covering the event and how it was impacting the students or kids in the area.”
With an informal invitation from Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, the journalism team visited the site in April.
“We tried to interview folks more focused on the recovery and moving forward after the disaster, which is a difficult thing to do after such a tragic disaster,” continued Anders.
“When I first saw what would be the road ahead (SR530), one I had traveled before the slide, I was confused by what I saw at first,” said Anders.
“It looked as if the surface of the moon had been stapled to the earth by someone carelessly and unevenly, and that moonscape brushed up against the road and the forest surrounding in that fashion.”
“Another team member referred to the slide area as a dark ocean suddenly freezing in place, complete with the waves and crests of a rough sea, only it was the dark soil with debris poking out.”
“At this point we still didn't even have a view of the hillside where the slide began. I believe nothing could have prepared anyone for taking in the full scope of the disaster, but it seemed especially difficult for all of us. This was our first time covering and seeing a disaster zone and it was our first newscast, ever. We knew it would be tough, but again, none of us could draw on prior experiences to relate and prepare us for seeing what we did. I believe those images will never leave my mind.”
“I would like to add that the work of everyone there was amazing, and we couldn't have done our report without the help of FEMA and those at the command centers. Also the work of the first responders and those still working there today have our deepest thanks and respect for all the work they do and continue to do,” concluded Anders.
The inaugural broadcast of the Henry M. Jackson High School News Network was aired May 2nd on YouTube.
- Zach Anders
- Kyle Beavert
- Nicole Guerrero
- Madi Hagge
- Zach Purnell
- Ellie Smith