Creativity through journalism: Frankie Smith uses visual media to tell meaningful stories

Frankie Smith, who attends Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, said she uses journalism to amplify her passions inside and outside of school. The Valley Village native is a producer, writer, videographer and presenter for her school’s weekly news show, Notre Dame Television Productions. She also maintains a personal blog titled Life According to Frankiewhere she explores food, fashion, entertainment and wellness.

Frankie joined NDTV in his freshman year and plans to take the Journalism II course next year, which focuses on blogging. With pressure from high school to choose a program that fits her future aspirations, she reconsidered what she had always loved to do, which was writing and creating content. During her time at NDTV, she contributed stories not only relevant to her community, but to her generation as a whole.


One project for NDTV that is particularly close to her heart is an investigative video she produced last winter that focused on preparing for school shootings. She interviewed her cousin who was a student at Oxford High School at the time of the November 2021 school shooting, and an LAPD representative who gives presentations on school shooting preparedness at her school .

“After shooting Oxford for me was when it was really real,” Smith said. “I made this video to show that not only is this real life, but it actually happens.”

Smith also makes sure to include her other passions, as she does through her feature film”Studio City Farmer’s Market features local produce where she explores the Farmer’s Market in Studio City. She said she enjoys 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 think of herself as a foodie as she regularly explores food places in her Region.

Frankie Smith is a producer, editor, videographer and presenter for Notre Dame Television Productions. (Courtesy of Frankie Smith.)

“You see them everywhere, but what are the deep values, the struggles they went through?” said Smith.

She said she wanted to find deeper stories beyond the surface aspects of daily life in her city. Accordingly, for the HS Insider internship, she is pursuing a story focused on women-owned food trucks and the struggles they face in the industry as they connect their communities and share their cultures. She also wants to address how the food truck industry has changed over the years.

Looking at the Polaroids on her wall, she reflects on all her past memories with friends, which in addition to trying restaurants include beach picnics, surfing, cooking and movie nights. Her best friend, Lucy Savant, who volunteers with Frankie at the National Charity League, said it was great that Frankie had found something she was passionate about.

“I love his hard work and his dedication to maintaining his blog is so admirable,” Savant said.

Life According to Frankie is Frankie Smith’s blog where she explores lifestyle, fashion and food. (ICT Tac)

Her passion for food is shared with her love for fashion, wellness and sustainability, topics she writes about on her online blog and Instagram. Frankie uses her broadcast and visual media skills on Instagram Reels and she believes social media plays a big role in the evolution of journalism.

During this internship, she said she hopes to gain real-world experience and explore other aspects of journalism she hadn’t experienced before, such as podcasting and photojournalism.

Briana R. Cross