Interviewing people who talk for four or more hours per day isn’t the most difficult task in the world. They’ve got a lot to say.“I’m a quote machine,” said Jason Samuel, associate professor of communication and general manager of WGCS. “Don’t mess. Have I sold you yet?”
Goshen College’s communication department is not all talk. Three broadcasting students, Dante Stanton, Amelia (Lee) Turnbull and Mike Murrell, have taken the real-world experience offered by the communication department to the next level, as they’re employed at radio stations and television channels before finishing their degrees.
According to Samuel, GC’s awarded, dependable pedigree, is one of the first institutions Indiana radio stations reach out to when looking for new hires.
“These organizations and their leadership,” he said, “are coming to us and saying, ‘Hey, what do you got? I need something right now.’ We’re one of the first calls those companies are making.”
Students benefit from Samuel’s connections within the radio industry, but still have to pull their own strings. Turnbull hadn’t been hearing back on a potential internship last year at Federated Media, so she took matters into her own hands.
“I told them,” she said, “if you don’t set up a meeting with me, I’m going to show up here and knock until you let me in.”
She still works nights at Froggy 102.7, and also has a gig at Michiana’s News Channel, 95.3, both of which are stations owned by Federated. Her aspiration is to become a full-time news anchor, and she’s well on her way with an internship at WNDU News.
Amelia Turnbull, as she’s known around GC, goes by Amelia Lee on the air. The surname is a shortened version of Leigh, her middle name. Turnbull sees the change as a welcome chance to keep her radio and personal life in separate spheres.
“I feel like I’m true to myself on air,” she said, “but it’s still a different person. You’re playing a character, you’re playing it up. It’s nice for me to be able to separate.”
Murrell, after years in the military, also wanted to find himself a new identity.
“I wanted to start a second career,” he said, “but I wanted to do something that I enjoyed doing. I’ve always been told I have a good voice. I actually came to Goshen fully intending on going to sports broadcasting. But once I got into this program, I discovered, wow, my true passion is in the music side of things.”
Even with 12 credit hours and family responsibilities, Murrell has found time to explore his passion. He was recently hired full time as the production director for Kensington Media, where he’s in charge of coordinating commercials from five radio stations. Additionally, the job entails on-air work at 107.3 WRSW Classic Hits, filling in on “The Homestretch” from 2 to 6 p.m. He’s had to make some adjustments.
“For The Globe,” he said, “you want to talk about the song that just played, you want to identify that song that’s about to play, and then you also give the time and temperature. For WRSW, it’s a little bit different. With it being a classic hit station, the people that listen to it know the songs.”
Stanton is currently a multimedia journalist at ABC 57. He started out at the company as a digital content editor, moving his way up to shooting packages and eventually appearing on television on a weekly basis.
He still works part time, which includes shifts from 1 p.m. to around midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That may seem like quite a bit for a part-time job, but Stanton’s just glad to be done with morning shifts that had him waking up at 3 or 4 a.m.
Stanton’s Friday night docket has a high school football focus. He’s responsible for each “game of the week,” including tasks such as producing game previews, conducting live coach interviews, shooting footage and producing a highlight reel. At 11 p.m., he delivers a 15-minute news package.
Football reporting is among the lighter parts of Stanton’s job. Working as an on-scene reporter means reporting on crimes at the scene, often mere minutes or hours after they’ve occurred.
“I’ve been at the scenes of shootings,” Stanton said. “I’ve been at the scene of shots fired, while it happened, and then I had to turn around and report on it. Because it’s the job. I wasn’t directly shot at. But seeing other shots fired, guns drawn, everything like that — it’s scary.”
Radio and television reporting is not an easy profession; it involves long hours and often proximity to uncomfortable and even dangerous circumstances. Stanton tries to stay grounded.
“I do it,” he said, “because I enjoy bringing stories to people. I’ve done really really fun unique feature stories on people who are helping the community. And that’s why I do what I do.”