ECTV crew wins WAVE awards in Sacramento

Phil Taggart, Ethan Messecar and Annabelle Augustine, representing the ECTV student producers proudly show off their 3 WAVE awards.

Congratulations to the El Camino High School ECTV Crew for winning a series of WAVE Awards at the Alliance for Community Media Western States Regional Conference in Sacramento. Annabelle Augustine and Ethan Messecar represented the ECTV crew at the event along with Phil Taggart, director and mentor of the CAPS Media/El Camino High School media program. ECTV won first place awards in three categories: Informational Talk Show, Youth Division, for ECTV: Spocabulary, Halloween and Digital Citizenship; Informational Lifestyle, Youth Division, for ECTV: California Islands; and Informational Culture, Youth Division, for ECTV: Travel & Photography.

The ECTV program is a collaboration with Ventura Unified School District, El Camino High School, VC Innovates and CAPS Media. As a career pathways education program, students receive hands-on instruction to master video cameras, audio, lighting, studio production and postproduction editing. In addition, the ECTV members develop Digital Storytelling skills including conceptualizing, storyboarding, writing, producing, on-camera reporting, interviewing, directing, and production management.

Mentored by Taggart and unitizing the extensive production facilities at the CAPS Media Center, the El Camino students create magazine-style programs on topics of interest and concern to themselves including drug abuse, discrimination, gun control and more. The ECTV programs air on CAPS Media television and are archived and stream at

The Thomas Fire Stories Project has begun and is a major success. The extensive undertaking is a collaboration with Ventura City Fire and Police, Ventura County Fire, Sheriff, and Office of Emergency Response and the Museum of Ventura County. The year-long, comprehensive project includes an ongoing series of television and radio archival recordings with those whose lives were dramatically changed the night of December 4th.

Members of the public, fire fighters and first responders and others are sharing remarkable first-person stories at recording sessions throughout the county. Selected stories will air and stream on CAPS radio (KPPQ 104.1 FM) and on CAPS Media television, stream on, and may be included in the comprehensive Thomas Fire documentary. All of the recordings will be included in the historic archival project at the Museum of Ventura County.  

During the past few weeks Thomas Fire audio recording sessions took place at the Ojai Valley Museum and Ojai Library and they continue on Saturday, March 31 from 11am-4pm at the CAPS Media Center; on Monday, April 2nd at the EP Foster Library from 5-7pm, and on Saturday April 14th at the Avenue Library from 10am-2pm. More audio recording sessions will continue at the Ventura County Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula on Sunday April 22nd from 11am-3pm and at the Museum of Ventura County on May 20th from 11am-3pm.

Everyone with a story to tell is invited to participate. The audio recording process is simple and enjoyable and typically lasts 10-15 minutes.  CAPS Media staff and volunteers help the storytellers share their experience in their own words. The result is unscripted, unrehearsed, engaging and compelling first person stories. If you have a Thomas Fire Story to share or know someone who has a great story to tell, drop by and record the experience. Visit to find a convenient day and time to record your story and add it to the museum’s historic archive.

If you have photos or video to contribute to the archive, go to for instructions on how to contribute photos, video and other media. If you have a story to share, email [email protected] or call the CAPS Media Center at 658.0500.

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