Monmouth College students, seated from left, Maureen Soso, Michelle Nutting, Emily Friedrich, Audrey Hackmann and Cassie Hart are pictured with faculty member Chris Goble at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) convention. All five students are members of the college’s MC-TV news staff. Also pictured is INBA president Melissa Hahn.
Through its communication studies department, Monmouth College has been taking strides to develop students into becoming effective broadcast journalists. As with other academic disciplines at MC, becoming integrated beyond the campus has been a goal in moving the department forward.
As part of that goal, instructor Chris Goble led a group of five students to the Illinois News Broadcasters Association convention in Oak Brook earlier this month. The students – seniors Emily Friedrich of Heyworth, Audrey Hackmann of Farmington and Maureen Soso of Chicago and juniors Cassie Hart of Cuba and Michelle Nutting of Weldon Springs, Mo. – are all members of the MC-TV news crew.
The Monmouth College contingent was recognized as a chapter of Students in the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (SINBA), which allows students to network with others in the state to get broadcasting ideas. Students can also apply for scholarships to subsidize college tuition or expenses incurred while completing an internship, and they can enter competitions sponsored by the organization.
“We produce a quality product,” explained Friedrich, who has served as the news producer and anchor for two years. “This helps us get recognition for the hard work that it takes to put together a show.”
MC-TV has experienced a facelift this semester and continues to improve. The weekly news program has taken some of their advanced reporters and given them the opportunity to present their stories from a newsroom setting, rather than on the set as in a normal news broadcast. The content of the news stories has also improved.
“We continue to stretch into the community and cover things not just on campus, but those things in the Monmouth community that the affect the campus,” said Goble, who said that by being a SINBA chapter, the quality of the broadcasts should continue to rise. One example includes changes Goble plans to make to MC-TV’s entertainment program, “Fusion,” incorporating a late-night talk show feel complete with an interview and a musical act.
“Giving the students an opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of this group of broadcasters will further help to move MC-TV from just a student TV show to legitimate broadcast journalism,” Goble said.
Another benefit of the convention was that Monmouth’s students were also able to submit their résumé tapes and receive immediate feedback from major news producers.
“I have learned that I am ahead of the game,” noted Nutting, who will succeed Friedrich next year as news producer. “I know how to make my own video package,” which is a skill taught in MC’s communications classes. This summer, Nutting will further prepare for her new role by completing an internship at Fox News near her hometown in St. Louis.
“I feel as if I could have never asked for a better learning experience,” she said of the convention.