In Journalism

PR Student: Becca Pearson
This article was produced in cooperation with the COMMS 425 lab.

News media student Kristi Lee Neuberger loved her major before accepting an internship at New York One (NY1) last summer, but she did not fully realize the program’s value until she received a full-time job offer at the network.

News media students working hard to produce the ElevenNEWS show before it airs at 12 pm. Photo courtesy of ElevenNEWS.

Neuberger attributes her success in the Big Apple to the skills she learned from BYU’s news media program. Students and faculty shared five ways the news media program prepares prospective journalists

  1. Facetime with the pros

News media students work closely with lab managers Alan Neves and Melissa Gibbs each day to produce BYU’s ElevenNEWS show. “This helps them improve their game because they’re working with a pro in the industry,” Neves said.

Neves worked as a photographer and editor at KSL for more than 20 years. Gibbs most recently worked at KUTV as an executive producer for 11 years. Outside the newsroom, students work twice a week with professors like Michelle King, a former KUTV anchor.

  1. Cuts the learning curve

Students also learn to operate the same equipment many large news organizations use, a skill that enabled Neuberger to work the camera from day one at her NY1 internship.

“The students here in the newsroom use the exact same software and graphics programs that are used by newsrooms in SLC and other large markets across the U.S.,” Gibbs explained. Having these skills lessens the technology learning curve entry-level employees face.

  1. More than just a (news)desk job

Not everyone has to head to the Big Apple for job experience—many on-campus jobs are eager for students with camera and video-production skills. “This is an opportunity that prepares us for the real world because we’re in charge of producing a nationally televised show,” news media senior and producer for BYU Sports Nation Maddie Rasmusen said.

Rasmusen produces her own segment called Between the Lynes as part of the sports broadcast, another unique learning experience for news media students.

Student anchors reporting live using industry-standard cameras in the ElevenNEWS room. Photo courtesy of ElevenNEWS.

  1. A one-man show

Neves said the news media program’s main goal is to enable students to be a “one-man show.” “We start the story and end the story –all of it is applicable,” Neuberger said, “in the real world all of those jobs are done by different people, but at BYU we have the ability to do them all.”

If you haven’t heard of Minute with Mads yet, check out her bite-size news updates to see just what one news media student can produce single-handedly.

  1. The winds of change

Many School of Communications faculty members attend yearly conferences and even complete internships to inform decisions to change curricula. Associate Teaching Professor Robert Walz said, “We are proactive in finding out what the industry is doing in order to mirror our curriculum.”

Walz completed an internship two years ago with Nuvi just to understand social media analytics. He predicts the news media program will undergo more changes to offer more digital media classes. “We have to train our students differently than before,” Walz said. Forward thinkers like Walz work with other professors to adapt news media’s curriculum to students’ needs.

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