IWU Communication students were once again at the forefront of covering NAIA National Championships in Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Track and Field during the early months of 2012.
Last March, WIWU-TV continued a seven year tradition of following the IWU Men and Women to the NAIA Division II Basketball Championships, in Branson, Missouri for the men and Sioux City, Iowa for the women. The 9 students and TV station staff produced pre-game and halftime shows around the game broadcasts, a half-hour tournament edition of Wildcat Week each day, and photos, interviews and daily features stories on the Wildcat Central.TV website.
The media teams stayed on site as long as the IWU teams competed and there were many long days and nights of production work, creating content for the television and online audience.
Senior Media Communication major Chase Evans (Columbus, OH) was back for his third year with the IWU men. “You learn a lot about yourself when you’re in the field reporting and shooting on a daily basis,” he said. “It really puts you in a real-world environment with deadlines and expectations to meet.”
WIWU-TV Sports Producer Tricia Skiver (Portland, IN) was back for a second year in Sioux City, as the IWU Women advanced to the quarterfinal round of 8 teams. “My favorite part…was the practical experience that I got. I loved being with all the excitement and digging in deeper to stories and the hard work the girls put into winning,” she said.
In May, IWU hosted the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the third straight year, and Communication students contributed to a special website, IWUnaia.com, created with news items and highlights of the three day event. Two current students from the Convergent Journalism major joined the team, along with three recent graduates and veterans of IWU’s award-winning newspaper, The Sojourn.
Track and Field meets are known for having many events going on at once, and it was a minute by minute challenge for the small team of journalists to keep up. They worked inside a media tent in 90 degree heat, capturing images and results, posting them online as quickly as possible. By the last day, they posted over 62 individual updates or stories, with photos, interviews and video highlights. The website had over 28,000 page views by the last day, representing approximately 8,000 individual users from across the country and world.
Jeremy Sharp (Convergent Journalism, Cincinnati, OH), outgoing Sports Editor and incoming Editor in Chief of The Sojourn, said the event merged his love of sports with the immediacy of online news. “It made me work, think, and write under pressure. I was doing what I love in a new way and working with great people. I learned a lot,” he said.