In Experiential Learning, Journalism

PR Student: Brittain Steiner
This article was produced in cooperation with the COMMS 425 lab.

Last summer, Madison Heap was working behind the scenes as an intern for Good Things Utah. A few short months later, Heap found herself in front of the camera, not as an intern, but as a featured guest.  

Madison Heaps in “Minute with Mads”

The segment featured Heap’s personal project, an Instagram news show titled “Minute with Mads,” that has become wildly successful.

The hosts of Good Things Utah were impressed with her unique idea that began in June. They decided to invite their promising intern back on the show to learn more. Throughout the segment, Heap talked about her inspiration for the project, how shemakes “Minute with Mads” a reality and the changes in today’s news industry.  

Behind the scenes of Minute with Mads

Lights. iPhone. Action. With the press of her thumb, Heap is the star of her own show, one that is quickly becoming more and more popular on Instagram. In just three short months, Heap has gained over four thousand followers.

The format of the show is quite simple. Heap picks the major headlines of the day, writes a script, then records herself on her iPhone. After the videos are finished, she posts them to the “Minute with Mads” Instagram story. Throughout the day, she also posts pictures to the Instagram feed, with short facts to stay current on developing stories. “I’m a one-man band,” said Heap, “I write, film, edit, and post my own segments.”

Although Heap is the only source of manpower behind the “Minute with Mads” operation, the show is nothing short of professional. Heap’s videos are the whole package, complete with photos, video clips, signature music and her own logo. Heap uses a wide range of video production skills each day to make her videos come to life, all of which she accredits to the news media program at BYU. “My classes taught me everything I know. I wouldn’t know how to do any of those things well if it weren’t for my classes and phenomenal professors.”

Although she may be a busy college student, time restraints do not stop Heap from creating “Minute with Mads.” Ironically, Heap explains it is the chaos and busyness of life that inspired the show. “People are so busy they don’t have time to keep up with the news everyday,” explained Heap, “I wanted to create a way that people could get their daily news dose without taking up too much of their time.”

News media program: The Secret Behind Minute with Mads

The news media program at BYU has thrown out the dusty old textbooks and wants students to not just read about the news, but be a part of it.

“I’m not teaching students out of a book. I’m not teaching them out of a manual. I’m teaching them from my real-life experience and from what I know goes on in a newsroom,” said Melissa Gibbs, a professor in the program with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

This hands-on culture in the BYU news room is what helped make “Minute with Mads” possible. Heap’s  amount of authentic industry experience has made her feel comfortable enough to venture out on her own.

Heap is a great example and testament to the fact that students in the news media program are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to help them succeed after graduation.

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