By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — U.S. Sen Cory Booker is often featured on television answering probing questions about his background, leadership style and senatorial record.

In a short documentary airing on Cablevision later this month, the interviewer putting the senator in the hot seat isn’t a television anchor or a newspaper reporter, but an East Side High School student.

Mariana Duarte,17, was one of four East Side High School students who worked on the documentary through a partnership with Cablevision and the school’s new media studies program. Asked if she was nervous about interviewing Booker, Duarte said no.

“He made us feel relaxed,” she said. “So it wasn’t bad.”

The video project is the second installment of Cablevision’s “Student Lens” series. As part of the series, student videographers interview a legislator in their community and follow him or her with a camera for a day.

Cablevision gives the school $1,000 to cover the expenses to produce the documentary and advises students on shooting and editing the piece. The end product airs on television.

The first installment of “Student Lens” was a documentary featuring Assembly speaker Vincent Prieto made by Memorial High School students in West New York.

“It was a project that fit very well into what our school does,” said Tom Wolverton, a new media studies teacher at East Side High School who helped the students put the project together.

[Note: Wolverton is an AFTNJ delegate]


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