The Crossroads newsmagazine glided into its seventh season on WIWU-TV with a show at the Marion Airport’s Annual Fly-In/Cruise-In. Student producers from the Division of Communication have been a big part of the program since its debut in 2005, and they blanketed the airport Labor Day weekend, talking to pilots, guests and flying in an old-fashioned bi-plane and Huey helicopter.
The program is co-hosted by Randall E. King, Professor of Communication and Molly Meyer, (Journalism, Bettendorf, IA). Meyer, starting year two in front of the camera says, “The best thing about working on Crossroads is the opportunity to learn something new about my community during every shoot. Whether that’s a person, an event, or a story, I’m consistently amazed by all that our area has to offer.”
The Crossroads team spends some 30-40 hours each week producing the 30 minute program. The students are supervised by WIWU-TV Community Program Manager and Producer Stephanie McCracken (Communication Arts, ’05). As a Com alumnus, she puts her education to work every day and says she is, “able to use the skills and knowledge attained as a student…apply it to the community…and tell their stories. The students I work with now are eager to not only produce great video, but get out, meet people, and really convey what our station and university are all about.”
Those students include Senior Producer Jaclyn Heck (Media Communication, Canton, MI), returning for her third year with the show. “What I love about working on Crossroads is the chance to produce TV that is uplifting. I like hearing people’s stories and gaining experience working in media,” she says.
Producing uplifting television was literal for producer/videographer Russ Clark (Media Communication, Fairmount, IN), who flew in the passenger seat and shot video from the Huey helicopter on Fly-In day. Clark brings a filmmaker’s eye to his Crossroads segments and hopes to continue that work after graduation. “The Huey was amazing. Not only do I love flying but I also love shooting video. So, combining the two into one experience has definitely been a highlight of my college career, ” he says.
Crossroads is the only TV newsmagazine program focused exclusively on the people and places of Grant County. The show’s feature stories have been recognized with awards at the state and national level. Each show gives Communication students a new opportunity to develop their creative talents and give voice to the good people of central Indiana.