Category Archives: CommCrew

Steps Toward a Better Tomorrow

By Nicole LaDuca

Tomorrow starts here. It is the phrase students, faculty and Greenville locals see signifying the countless number of opportunities East Carolina University offers.

To follow one of the missions of the university, the School of Communication’s journalism faculty have developed a new plan. Dr. Mary Tucker-McLaughlin and Dr. Glenn Hubbard created a rent-to-buy equipment program for journalism students to be implemented in the fall of 2015.
It all started in McLaughlin’s Multiplatform Journalism class after a student asked why journalism students did not have their own equipment if they did not spend money on textbooks for the classes. McLaughlin said a light bulb went off and she started thinking about different ways students could better succeed in the classroom.
Hubbard said once McLaughlin brought a camera rental and buying program to him, he was 100 percent on board and ready to take the necessary steps to make the idea a reality.
McLaughlin said the “rent-to-buy” equipment program will be mandatory for journalism students. They will be required to start the program prior to their sophomore year in order to have the necessary camera equipment on the first day of their first broadcasting class — Video News Production. The equipment includes a camera, microphone, tripod, memory card and a warranty for all of the equipment.
“The great thing about this program is that there are no strings attached,” said McLaughlin. “You can drop out, return the equipment and not pay a fee. If you are in the program for the entire time, at the end of your journalism classes, you will own the equipment.”

The packages range from $40 a month to $90 a month depending on the type of camera the student chooses. Hubbard says he recommends the camera that only costs $40 a month.
“The cheapest package is the best deal,” said Hubbard. “The camera gets you really good image quality, and it is cross compatible. It shoots great still images and great video, so students could use it for more than just broadcasting classes.”

The quality of the cameras is something McLaughlin believes is another advantage. She says being able to shoot still images would be perfect for students who need a camera for other communications classes, such as Copy Editing and Design.
Hubbard and McLaughlin, the two communications professors who focus on broadcast journalism, agree that the positives of the new program far outweigh the negatives that might come with the change.
The School of Communication will be saving between $6,000 to $10,000 every year on cameras and equipment they will no longer have to purchase.
“Right now, there isn’t a camera kit for everyone,” said McLaughlin. “If a student has an interview set up and they go to check out equipment and all of the cameras are gone, they cannot complete their assignment.”

Because professors can only do so much, the biggest gain of all lies within the students’ interest. Hubbard says he is always willing to help motivated students with out-of-class tips or advanced classes to further their career goals.
“I’ve been known to create special classes with independent studies for interested students,” says Hubbard.
McLaughlin also believes the opportunities are endless with this new program. She says the first thing on her to-do list is to inform all of the local news stations about the program, which would give students the opportunity to freelance and be stringers for the different news outlets.
“Local stations will hire students to shoot footage for them, but the catch is that you have to have your own equipment,” said McLaughlin. “With this new program, that wouldn’t be a problem.”

 

With a small investment from ECU’s future journalism students comes a major improvement to the program that is currently in place. And, with this new plan, tomorrow’s achievements can start today.

 

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.

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