Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Teacher & Former Reporter in Docudrama

Dec. 28, 2017 -- Heights High Digital Video Production teacher Cynthia Booker is featured on a December 30 Reelz TV show about a news story she covered in 1994 in South Carolina.
The one hour docudrama, Murder Made Me Famous: Susan Smith is about a crime story that Mrs. Booker covered in her role as reporter at WSPA-TV station in Spartanburg, SC.
She received an Emmy award for the story.

The docudrama explores Susan Smith’s background and describes the crime, news reporting, investigation and trial. The program will air on December 30 on local cable and satellite stations and is for mature audiences.

Mrs. Booker was asked to be in the show to give background information about the crime. She interviewed Mrs. Smith just hours after the kidnapping was reported.

“The show’s producers called me because I was the local reporter on the story. I knew the community, the local sheriff and many of key players in the story,” she said.See the show's promo video.

The interview for the show took place this past summer in Dallas, Texas. “It was different being on the other side of the camera and being asked the questions” she said. “I had someone do my makeup, something I had to do myself when I was in television."

But she also feels that she has found her calling: teaching students the skills needed to be part of the communications field.

“Working in television gave me a great foundation to teach,” she said. “I really feel like the luckiest teacher in the world since I get to teach what I used to do."

The skills learned in the Digital Production Program can be used in the news industry, in corporate, academic or non-profit communications department, the entertainment business or private production companies.

“The skills that students learn in this program help them produce class projects. They learn writing, editing, recording. It is storytelling,” she continued.

Before coming to Heights High, Mrs. Booker also worked at WOIO/WUAB TV in Cleveland, WKBN in Youngstown, in public relations at the CH-UH Communications Department, at WKBW-TV in Buffalo and at WXVT in Greenville, Mississippi.
While at WOIO, she won an Emmy for a documentary about a non-profit organization's trip to Africa to provide support for AIDS patients.

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