Iowa 4-H Reporters

The Iowa 4-H Reporters is a new opportunity for youth in the position of Reporter, Historian, or Photographer in their local clubs and youth who have an interest in media and communications projects. This program offers in-depth hands-on learning experiences with partner organizations, as well as self-directed project creation as a part of a reporting team at the Iowa State Fair.

Youth grades 9-12 selected for this program will have the opportunity to:

  • Work with professional mentors in partnership with Iowa Public Television and iHeart Radio
  • Work on a team with other youth in Iowa who have an interest in Media and Communications
  • Serve as a 4-H reporter for the Iowa State Fair for two consecutive days
  • Attend a full day workshop with professional partners from Iowa Public Television Studios (in Des Moines)
  • Receive state-wide recognition for their work on this project

How to Apply

  • Participants are selected through “State 4-H Recognition Day.” This process includes a written application of five essay questions and submission of a one-page resume. 4-H Members can apply November 15-February 1, and winners are announced in April.
  • 4-H members may apply to be in this program as many times as they wish.
  • Up to sixteen participants will be selected in April for the upcoming June-August events.
  • No interview is required. All participants will be selected through written application materials only.
  • Information, support and resources for the application process can be found on the State 4-H Recognition Day webpage and in the sidebar on this page.

Application Questions

Watch the application instructions video before preparing your application. A form is not required. You may copy and paste, or type, these questions into any document, and save as a PDF for uploading to your application in 4HOnline. Please use 12pt font or larger. You may use any word processing program, any size margins, double- or single-spaced lines. Your final document with all questions addressed must not be longer than 2 pages.

  1. Why would you be an effective member of the Iowa 4-H Reporters, based on what you know about this opportunity? What do you see as your potential contributions to this program?
  2. Please provide one or more examples of how you have exhibited or developed skills in leadership in projects or programs related to communications and/or media production.
  3. Civic Engagement is the opportunity, right and responsibility we have to contribute to shaping the world around us and providing service to others. Provide one or more examples of how you engaged in civic engagement activities related to communications and/or media production, and how this has positively impacted your personal development.
  4. Regardless of how many or how few years you’ve been a part of 4-H, please explain how your 4-H experiences in communications and/or media production have helped you reach your personal goals. Explain how you think these experiences may benefit you in your future endeavors.

Team Roles

Each participant will have the opportunity to serve in one of our team roles: 

  • Producer: Leads group. Uses good listening skills when interacting with the crew. Treats other crew members with respect. Makes arrangements for production of the story. Conducts the interview. Determines the direction of the story. Uses good listening skills during interview. Decides if the way the story is being covered needs to change direction once production is underway in the field. Acts as second set of “eyes” when gathering b-roll. Reviews footage in order to tell the story with the best video elements. Writes a concise report that establishes what the conflict or need might be, the people involved and the resolution if there is one.
  • Audio: Gathers sound during the interview and from b-roll locations. Controls audio levels making sure the sound is not too low or distorted. Determines if background or wind noise is too much during interview situations. Monitors sound during b-roll collection to be sure the sound is not too low or distorted.
  • Social Media: Edits and shares the story on various social media platforms. Makes sure the story is consistent and successful on each platform.
  • Video/Photography: Uses the camera to help tell the story. Uses tripods or holds the camera as needed to tell the story. Gathers b-roll by recording video sequences of wide, medium and close-up formats. Decides if a zoom is appropriate instead of gathering three angles where one will work. Determines best location for interviews. Monitors the exposure and framing of the scenes by utilizing the rule of thirds. Responsible for helping tell the story by finding the best video and audio to support the story as written by the Producer.

Check out prior years' video reports from the Iowa State Fair!

Quotes from Iowa 4-H Reporters

This camp gave me a unique insight into the process of producing radio and television programs. It was really an amazing experience to spend the day at iHeart Radio and IPTV studio. I enjoyed every minute of it. --Aneisha Sritharan 

The day was fun-filled, with lots of learning opportunities. Anybody who is given the chance should take part in the program. Not only did we learn, we worked with each other, creating new friends, all because of 4-H. I had a great time meeting new people and learning about interviews, cameras, scriptwriting, sound recording, and video editing. With the awesome resources, we will be finding stories, interviewing, and video editing at the Iowa State Fair. I can’t wait to create news stories and friendships all at the Iowa State Fair. --Mick Von Feldt

Communications within 4-H has always been an important part of my life. Because of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development program, I have been able to pursue my passion for communications. With the 4-H Reporter Program, I was able to experiment with equipment such as cameras, video cameras, and microphones. This program has by far been one of my favorite adventures through my journey of exploring my future.--Hailey Swan