Category Archives: CommCrew

Multimedia newsroom gives students opportunity for hands-on experience in a state-of-the-art classroom

Senior Alex Gajewski knows what he wants to do after graduation. The aspiring sports broadcaster has held internships with ESPN radio, TV stations in Greenville and Charlotte, NASCAR Productions and a professional soccer team.

Equally valuable, however, is the experience he gets weekly on campus at East Carolina University.

“The ECU multimedia newsroom is phenomenal,” Gajewski said in an interview this fall. “I can’t say enough about it. I started getting hands on with the ECU newsroom my junior year and it has helped me tremendously. It really captures what it’s like to work in TV journalism.”

The facility — which includes new computers, three studio cameras, a TriCaster, an audio board, an anchor desk and a green screen — gets students “pretty close” to a real newsroom experience. To learn more, please see this ECU News Bureau feature article.

London Study Abroad Recap of Summer 2014

During summer 2014, Dr. Cindy Elmore and Ms. Barbara Bullington led a successful study abroad program to London. The focus of the program was International News and allowed 20 students to gain access to the BBC, The Guardian, Bloomberg, NPR, and Amnesty International. In addition to exploring multiple avenues of international news resources, the students had the opportunity to experience a new and diverse cultures.
Jordan Mitchell, a Communication major and Film Studies minor here at East Carolina University, created a video as part of an Independent Study documenting the London study abroad experience.

CommCrew Spring Celebration Week culminates with annual reception

CommCrew annual reception

Following a week of activities and events organized to support the School of Communication and connect alumni and friends with current students and faculty, CommCrew held its eighth annual spring reception Saturday night, April 5, at the Greenville Museum of Art.

At the event, Jamie Lynn Sigler ’01 (far left in photo) was presented with the School’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. (See related story below.) With Sigler are: Bill Johnson ’91, executive vice president, Sports Trust Advisors, and the keynote speaker for the evening; Linda Kean, director, School of Communication; and, C.J. Wilson, a former Pirate and client of Johnson, currently with the Oakland Raiders.

One of the highlights of the week was a “speed networking” event where communication students had the opportunity to go four 15-minute rounds in small groups with a panel of distinguished alumni. Panelists were: John Cooper ’89, NBC Universal, NBC News Channel producer, Charlotte; Jamie Lynn Sigler ’01 founding partner, J Public Relations, San Diego; Michael Aho ’02, political officer, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C./New York City; and, Olivia Collier ’02 ’04, ARC program manager at N.C. Department of Commerce.

Students venturing across the pond for School of Communication first study abroad to London

Study Abroad in London

Junior communication major Caitlin Arneson is counting down the days until summer school.

But she won’t be in spending six weeks in a classroom in the Joyner East building. Instead, she’ll be earning six credit hours in London, one of the world’s leading global cities. She is one of 20 communication majors who will participate in the School of Communication’s first Summer Study Abroad to London.

The program follows last summer’s successful School of Communication Study Abroad to central Europe, in which communication students traveled to Poland, Slovenia and Hungary, taking courses in Intercultural Communication and English for Global Communication.

Arneson, who is from Northern Virginia, also was a student in that program.

She said she decided to enroll in a second study abroad program because she “absolutely loved” the Poland program. “So when I heard that there was another opportunity this summer, I decided I couldn’t miss it,” Arneson said. “Studying abroad gives class a whole other dynamic . . . Field trips and real life experiences are so much more in depth and relatable than any textbook could ever be.”

The London study abroad program will include courses in feature writing and international news communication. During their two weeks in London, students will visit the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Bloomberg News, al Jazeera-London, the British Parliament, a contract magazine publishing house, the Guardian newspaper, and more.

Students will live two-to-a-room in apartments in the Kensington Olympia area of the city. This will enable them to save money by preparing some of their own meals in their own kitchens. The apartments also have washers and dryers and Internet.

The cost for the trip, which includes tuition for six credit hours, two weeks’ accommodations in London, local transit in London, two group dinners, the BBC and Parliament tour fees, insurance and Internet, is $1,958 per student.

Arneson, an aspiring journalist, says she hopes to learn more about both English culture and journalism while on the trip.

Communication faculty members Cindy Elmore and Barbara Bullington are leading the program.

Student’s goals and determination net internship with Charlotte Bobcats

Madison Briner with Michael Jordan

By Amber Brandau

Sports fanatic and School of Communication student, Madison Briner, initially had a stressful and frustrating experience getting an internship for Fall 2013 until she came across an open position with the Charlotte Bobcats.

“I remember last summer I spent hours and hours applying to internships across the country,” Briner said. “I went on multiple interviews, but no offers. It was incredibly frustrating.”

Briner’s perseverance and self-awareness eventually paid off when she became the Event Presentation intern for the Charlotte Bobcats. She applied for the internship after reasoning that the position fit her active and social personality.

“Each day there was something new and exciting to experience,” Briner said. “You can market and plan all you want, but what happens in the game is uncontrollable and unplanned, which I think is exciting.”

Not only did Briner leave her internship with invaluable hands-on experience, but she also left with advice from the senior vice president. Briner said she was blown away by his knowledge and willingness to help the interns.

“It was a lot of work, I met a lot of people, and I enjoyed every second of it,” she said. “I worked hard to get the internship, and I worked hard while I was there. It is important to dream big, but you have to do the little things to get there.”

(See a full Q&A profile of Madison Briner’s internship experience, written by School of Communication intern Amber Brandau.)

Local media sports director addresses Communication graduates

Brian Bailey

He loves sports, loves Greenville, and loves the Pirate Nation. And, on Friday Dec. 13, WNCT and Pirate Radio Sports Director Brian Bailey shared some love with a special group of Pirates when he addressed the Fall 2013 graduating seniors at the School of Communication Graduate Recognition Ceremony in Wright Auditorium.

Bailey has called Eastern North Carolina and Greenville home for nearly 30 years. After graduating with a degree in speech communication from Old Dominion University in 1984, Bailey started as a sports director for a Virginia newspaper, but quickly found his calling as a sports broadcaster when he joined WNCT’s broadcast team in 1984.

As a broadcaster, Bailey has won 22 Emmy awards and has been honored by the North Carolina High School Baseball Coaches, the Raleigh and Greenville Hot Stove Leagues, the North Carolina Special Olympics and by the City of Greenville for community service.

“I chose my career because I love sports. I either wanted to be a sportscaster, sports writer, or teacher (coach). I decided to try sports casting first and it just stuck,” Bailey said. Along the way, he’s devoted his spare time to coaching the Exceptional Community Baseball League for special needs children as well as a fast pitch traveling softball team. As far as advice for college students preparing for the real world, Bailey emphasized being well-versed.

“I have been lucky that I have worked in television, radio and have written an Internet column for years. I knew how to shoot video with the camera when I was hired. The more you can do, especially now with websites and blogs and everything else, the better the chance to be hired,” he said.

Helping prepare students with real life sports reporting and producing experiences, Bailey has mentored dozens of ECU communication students including current student Nicole Clark who said she is a testament to Bailey’s gift as a teacher.

“He has shared with me his passion for his work, his incredible knowledge of all things sports, his commitment to excellence in broadcasting and his talent for creating a network of contacts,” Clark said.

Former New York Times managing editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author is 2013 Visiting Scholar

Gene Roberts

Gene Roberts was in good hands when he started working in newspapers – his father’s.

“My earliest memories are of the newspaper business,” said the Eastern North Carolina native, whose father was a teacher, minister and newspaper publisher. “My father printed the weekly newspaper on a flatbed press and he used to hold me up in his arms and I would shove the paper into the press sheet by sheet.”

Students in ECU’s School of Communication were in good hands, too, when Roberts, longtime reporter and editor at newspapers ranging from the Goldsboro News-Argus to The New York Times, shared his experiences with them as a Visiting Scholar on Oct. 22 through the 24th.

Roberts met with SOC classes during his visit and was the keynote speaker at the school’s annual High School Media Workshop on Oct. 22. In addition, he was the guest of honor at a reception at Emerge Art Gallery in Greenville.

In addition to serving as a national and foreign correspondent at the Times, Roberts had stints as its national editor and managing editor. As executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1972 to 1990, he supervised a reporting staff that won 17 Pulitzer Prizes. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for history with co-author Hank Klibanoff in 2007 for the book “The Race Beat,” a chronicle of the press and the Civil Rights era, and has chaired the Pulitzer Prize board. Roberts, who earned a B.A. in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1954, also taught at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

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