Thursday, May 17, 2012

Want to Be on the Air at Carolina? Consider Broadcast Journalism!

After finishing my first year, I know that choosing to study journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill was definitely the right decision. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication has impressed me not only with its faculty and curriculum, but also through the opportunities it presents to gain hands-on experience right off the bat. Within my first month of school, I began to volunteer for UNC’s student newscast, Carolina Week, and have never looked back.

Fresh out of high school and overwhelmed by all things college, I couldn't believe how easy it was to get involved in the journalism school’s news outlets. After a brief training session with Carolina Week, I began to attend both practice and live shows where I was given the opportunity to shadow students in the class. I watched and learned as my peers operated cameras, directed the control room and reported the news to the Carolina community.

Within a few weeks, I felt confident enough to run the camera and floor direct on my own. I even extended my involvement outside the studio and tagged along with reporters to help shoot interviews. Regardless of what I did, each task provided me with real life experience in my future field of work that I couldn't have gotten elsewhere. Furthermore, being part of a team of people so dedicated to the show reinforced my passion for broadcast journalism. My commitment to Carolina Week strengthened and I'm proud to say that this was recognized by my teammates, who voted me Most Valuable Volunteer at the end of the year. This achievement has paved the way for my future endeavors in the J-school and I can only hope that my remaining three years will be as prosperous.

UNC students are fortunate that taking part in activities and organizations is so easy. The J-school is a perfect example of this, because whether you're interested in television, radio or web journalism, there are opportunities to get involved. Carolina Week, Carolina Connection and Reese News are all student-run news outlets that provide the experiences and skills needed to become a successful journalist. I've certainly taken advantage of these opportunities, and the lessons I've learned and the people I've met as a result have truly shaped my time so far at UNC. I cannot imagine what my first year would have been like without the support and sense of belonging that Carolina Week provided. Getting involved was the best decision I've made during my academic career and I highly recommend incoming students do the same.

--Brenna Cukier, 2015

For more information on these programs and the broadcast journalism major, you are welcome to email Dr. Charles Tuggle, Professor of Journalism.