The Correspondent, Goshen College’s student news program, offers real-life experience to GC students aspiring to work in television.The Correspondent is led by juniors Karina Flores, who serves as the news director, and Dalton Shetler, operations manager. The student-focused news is produced every other week and provides another way for students to get news about what is happening on campus and in the broader Goshen community.
Many hours from plenty of different people, including reporters, anchors, producers and editors, are necessary for one episode of The Correspondent to come together. Tim Litwiller, show editor, estimates that somewhere around “60 collective hours” goes into each show.
“A story often consists of interviews, B-roll footage and some voice over,” said Jesse Bontreger, GC junior and Correspondent news anchor. “Gathering all of this takes several hours. Suffice it to say that students working for The Correspondent are putting in quite a few hours every week.”
One episode uses multiple segments that are put together by a number of students. With so much time required for a single episode, The Correspondent only does eight shows throughout a school year. But those hours provide valuable real-world experience.
Not only is Shetler the operations manager, but he is also the sports producer and sports anchor. With so many responsibilities, Shetler spends over 20 hours on each show, which is more time than the average person for The Correspondent. But this work is worth is for the experience it lends the students.
“One goal of The Correspondent is to develop our skills as newscasters, storytellers and reporters,” said Bontreger. “I love following a thread of an idea and uncovering the bigger story.”
The ‘bigger story’ often involves students and their activities around campus. The Correspondent hopes that by going in depth in reporting on individuals, the show will be interesting and applicable.
“We strive to make our show interesting, engaging and worthwhile,” said Litwiller. “Our goal is to make each show better than the last.”
David Kendall, faculty advisor for The Correspondent, said that the show works “to deliver quality stories to Goshen College.”
Yet, with all of the effort going into producing The Correspondent, there is still a challenge getting students interested.
“Most of the time we are reporting about our students, so we want them to watch and enjoy the show that involves them,” said Shetler. “We want to hear their feedback and understand what news they want to hear more of.”
Despite that challenge, students involved with The Correspondent get plenty of positive experiences from this opportunity.
Rachel Buckley, a reporter for The Correspondent, commented on how rewarding it is to see all of the hours of hard work come together into a show and appreciate the accomplishments.
“Few students know that Goshen College has been named Indiana’s Television School of the Year several times, including last year,” said Bontreger.
The Correspondent has an active YouTube channel where you can watch any episode online. If you have a worthy news story for The Correspondent, or you’re interested in helping out behind the scenes, contact Kendall at firstname.lastname@example.org.