WSOE…News? Elon Bubble Pierced by School of Communications Collaboration

The Elon Bubble just might by sporting a few holes due to a collaboration between WSOE 89.3 radio and one media writing class.

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-“This is Jordan Johnston, reporting for WSOE News.”

Students in Associate Professor Michelle Ferrier’s communications class are producing audio newscasts during the weekdays, bringing students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community the top news stories daily from the local area and around the world.

WSOE General Manager Sierra Ferrier spoke to Professor Ferrier during Winter Term about her goals as the new station manager. One goal was to bring more news and information to the music-driven programming. Ferrier looked at her media writing class and realized that her students needed some hands-on experience producing news for a public audience.

 “The podcasts help students develop their news sense, hone their broadcast writing style and get over the fears of sharing their work with a wider audience,” Professor Ferrier said. “I decided to look at some simple audio tools to get students started quickly. They’ll have the option of using Audacity or ProTools to do the podcasts.”

 Sierra Ferrier said the collaboration fits with her goals of expanding the reach of WSOE. “Students experience recording segments and contributing to the station, while we receive great material for the community. I feel like this is a wonderful start to WSOE reconnecting to curriculum in the School of Communications, which is a step in the right direction.”

Connor Cavanaugh, news director for WSOE, said his goal is to establish news as a major part of programming for WSOE.

 “Just as sports has become a significant part of the radio station, I aim to bring news to that level,” Cavanaugh said. “Students should be informed about what is going on in the world from places other than Twitter and Facebook, and their college radio station is a perfect place to facilitate that.”

 Professor Ferrier also had a larger goal in mind: Bringing news and information to the larger Elon/Burlington community and beyond.

 “When I looked at the reach of WSOE, I realized that we could fill a void in providing news and information to the community,” Ferrier said. “Many communities across the country are underserved when it comes to news and information and colleges and universities can play a role in developing an informed citizenry.”

 Jordan Johnston, a sophomore majoring in media arts and entertainment, said she thinks the community will appreciate the newscasts because they are student-produced.

 “It is a great to be able to have hands-on experience with the radio station and the news itself. Being a part of WSOE is gratifying because I can turn on the station and hear myself or a fellow classmate as we share our work with listeners. Everything we have learned in the classroom is being tested and applied,” she said.

 Emmy York, a first-year, strategic communications major, said she was surprised to find that creating a podcast is challenging.

 “Writing a podcast is tricky because you want to be as concise as possible, while also including all of the important facts, York said. “Having fellow students report on WSOE creates a more inviting school environment and makes the news more personable. It is great to be able to hear world news, as well as news about the Elon community.”

 Cavanaugh plays news at the top of the hour, so that those tuning in to listen to shows will be informed on what is important in the news of the day.

 Mary Johnson, said piercing the bubble is a great experience.

 “I really like being given the opportunity to relay important news to the Elon community so that they can stay connected to the world as a whole even from inside the bubble’s border,” she said.