Frankie joined NDTV her junior year and plans on taking journalism II next year which focuses on blogging. With the high school pressure to choose a program that correlates to her future aspirations, she thought back to what she has always loved to do, which is writing and creating content. During her time at NDTV, she has contributed to stories not only relevant to her community but to her generation as a whole.
One project for NDTV that is particularly important to her is an investigative video she produced last winter centered around school shooting preparedness. She interviewed her cousin who was a student at Oxford High School around the time of the school shooting that took place in November 2021, and a representative from the LAPD who gives school shooting preparedness presentations at her school.
“After the Oxford shooting for me was when it was really real,” Smith said. “I made this video to show that not only this is real life, that this actually happens.”
Smith also makes sure to include her other passions, as she does through her feature video “The Studio City Farmer’s Market offers locally sourced food“ where she explores the farmer’s market in Studio City. She said she enjoyed listening to people from different cultures and the hard work that goes into it. She grew up going to the farmer’s market and likes to consider herself a food enthusiast as she routinely explores food spots in her area.
“You see them everywhere, but what’re the deeper values, the struggles that they’ve gone through?” Smith said.
She said she wants to find deeper stories beyond the surface of aspects of everyday life in her city. Accordingly, for the HS Insider internship, she is pursuing a story focused on women-owned food trucks and the struggles that they face in the industry as they connect their communities and share their cultures. She also wants to touch on how the food truck industry has changed over the years.
As she looks at the polaroids on her wall, she reflects on all of her past memories with friends, which aside from trying food spots, include picnics on the beach, surfing, cooking and movie nights. Her best friend, Lucy Savant, who volunteers with Frankie at the National Charity League, said it’s great that Frankie has found something she is so passionate about.
“I love how hardworking she is, and her dedication to maintaining her blog is so admirable,” Savant said.
Her passion for food is shared with her love for fashion, wellness and sustainability, which are topics she writes about in her online blog and her Instagram. Frankie utilizes her broadcast and visual media skills on Instagram Reels and she believes that social media is playing a big part in how journalism is evolving.
During this internship, she said she hopes to gain concrete experience as well as explore other aspects of journalism she hasn’t before such as podcasting and photojournalism.