Elon Local News produces 125th anniversary special
Elon's student-produced newscast has created a special documentary to commemorate the university's quasquicentennial year.
Elon Local News, Elon’s student television news organization, produced a documentary titled “125 Years. An Elon Anniversary Special,” in honor of the university’s 125 anniversary. The special showcases Elon’s rich history and includes interviews with more than 70 community members.
> Watch the program at: elonlocalnews.com/125years
The highlights of the special include an interview with Elon’s first black graduate, Eugene Perry, and an interview with Elon’s three living presidents.
The Elon Local News staff started drafting ideas for the show in August. After weeks of storyboarding, the show became a story told by ten reporters in a nearly 52-minute pre-taped special.
“This was a completely different production than we’ve ever done before,” said Executive Producer Jeff Ackermann. “Being able to lead this entire team and see how much every one took away from the experience was truly rewarding.”
The special centered around ten stories that Elon Local News believed highlighted Elon’s rich history. Those stories are the Elon Timeline, the Tough Times, Diversity, Religion, Student Organizations, Sports, Traditions, Unsung Heroes and Elon’s Past & Future. Each team had a reporter, a producer, and a production manager to complete the story, incorporating majors across the entire School of Communications.
“My favorite part was the collaboration, getting to see people work with each other in styles they never thought existed,” said Production Manager Brian Mezerski. “From news and documentary with cinema, producers sitting alongside editors, that was the best part.”
The Elon Local News staff started working in early September to research each story. Each team worked closely with the Belk Library Archives and Special Collections to learn more about Elon’s history, along with gathering archive picture and videos to use in the piece. University Communications also provided archive videos for the special.
“At Elon Local News we are always looking for ways to challenge ourselves while serving our audience,” said News Director Joe Bruno. “Tackling a project of this size allowed for our staff to grow in all aspects of storytelling while delivering a quality project to be enjoyed by students of the past, present and future.”
"The show was an incredible learning opportunity allowing our news-minded staff to work with production students who enhanced our final product and were integral parts of our team,” said Katie Maraghy, a reporter for the special. “The ability to collaborate with others outside of the realm we're used to will make us better professionals after graduation."
The Reporters for the project were Carly Hildyard, Jason Puckett, Nicole Chadwick, Gary Grumbach, Eric Halperin, Katie Maraghy, Justin Biegel, Addie Haney, Brennan McDavid and Joe Bruno.
Allison D’Amora, Meredith Stutz, Jasmine Turner, Megan Foard, Kelly Finneran, Ryan Greene, Elizabeth Kantlehner, David Perell, Raj Argawal, John Bowden, Sky Cowans, Corey Shegda and Lauren Cook served as producers on the individual pieces.
The production members and editors for the project were Chelsea Lindsay, Tyler Oberle, Ja’Mei Bess, Jonathan Winston, Madeline Stokowski, Ben Stringfellow, Sean Lauwers, Jon Smith, Jordan Johnston, Matthew Mintzer, Alex Rose and Brian Binder.
“Being a part of the 125th anniversary show allowed me to gain a better understanding of what Elon really is,” said Nicole Chadwick, a reporter for the special. “I gained a pulse of the campus, I found out its strengths and weaknesses. I now feel I can personally relate to those weaknesses and help to conquer them as a part of the student body.”
The entire project can be found at elonlocalnews.com/125years.
- Story submitted by Jeff Ackermann '14