This story was originally published on December 14, 2010.
Senior Colin Lygren is a one-man band. He is typically required to record, edit and produce his own footage 48 hours before show time. Even with his reporting task completed, he is sometimes called to anchor an entire newscast. It may seem overzealous to expect a full-time students to become this invested into a course but to Lygren, it’s an advantage in the real-world job market.
“In small market stations, there are a lot of reporters that go out and shoot their own footage,” Lygren said from the State of Events newsroom in the Creative Arts building. “Reporters just hold a microphone, whereas I’m getting the full picture of doing everything from start to finish.”
Lygren is one of a handful of students who write, shoot and produce for State of Events, the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Art department’s weekly news broadcast. The show covers an array of topics from cyber bullyng and Fourloko to the weather. No matter the topic, each story is reported by students hoping to bring relevant and pertinent information to their peers.
Though Lygren regularly reports on topics such as these, he’s more smitten with reporting than anything else. Anchoring especially presents a challenge to would-be television people.
“You keep reading and you mess up on the prompter and you can’t go back,” he said. “A few times you gotta wait a second and continue on.”
Though Lygren doesn’t feel like he’s mastered any specific technique just yet, he’s content with the training BECA gave him and hopes to look for jobs in the spring.
Angela Garcia, also a BECA reporter and anchor, echoed Lygren’s sentiments.
“I’ve always been intrigued by the news and kinda knew I wanted to pursue a career in news,” she said. “So I figured this major would be the best for that career path.”
Just like Lygren, Garcia has to create an entire segment from start to finish. Despite her commute from Concord to work on her projects, she said she loves what she does and even has a soft spot for anchoring.
“It’s fun to really have that enthusiasm and on-camera presence so that you can convey the news well,” Garcia said.
According to the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, television news ratings have declined in recent years. Despite the ever-changing viewing habits that network news channels are witnessing, Lygren wanted to encourage more viewership from the student body.
“We work hard on it and we’re always improving on what we’re doing,” he said. “Not a lot of people know we have State of Events.”
According to an article by the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronica Media, networkings are displaying more of their content in high-definition because the perception of the news format can dictate viewership. State of Events advertises that it plays in high-definition, but Garcia said that, ultimately, content is the focus of the department. And while she thinks that society might see news as dishonest or biased, she strives to break that mindset.
“Journalism needs to work hard to remove that image and gain back the public’s trust,” Garcia said. “What I want to try to aim for is to be a really honest reporter and not just tell those everyday, normal stories, but tell the ones that people might not have thought of or head of and try to make a difference that way.”