Reporting Live: Broadcasting Communications Major
I love the broad range of concentrations and diversity within this major.
By Katie Maraghy, Elon University
When I began touring colleges in high school, I had no idea what I wanted. Not a clue. But you know how every once in a while something just clicks? Something seamlessly glides into place in your mind and you smile, feeling fulfilled. This is how I felt when I entered Elon University’s McEwen School of Communications. I walked into two television studios: one for news and one for entertainment and sports. I was home. I have always been a huge television nerd. Here was the physical proof that I could study what I loved so much, combining my passion and a potential career. It energized me. My decision was made.
I love the broad range of concentrations contained within the major. Each day, I go to class with print, online and broadcast journalism students, cinema majors looking to work in various aspects of film, future members of the public relations field, and those looking to work in sport and event management. All of these fall under the broad classification of communications. The diversity in it, the different kinds of people I am able to see and work with each day, keeps things interesting.
As a communications student, I wish to reach as many people as possible through television. While I have primarily worked in news on campus, I would cherish the opportunity to work in the entertainment side of things. I love the engagement. Viewers, especially in this digital age, are incredibly invested in their favorite shows, whether news or entertainment. Looks at Homeland, Game of Thrones, Mad Men and other critically acclaimed shows. These programs have massive followings that eagerly anticipate each episode, plot twist and casting update. Don’t believe me? Look up BBC’s Sherlock. Undoubtedly some of the most dedicated fans out there.
Communications allows people to connect over this common love. Whether conjecturing about Don Draper’s various mistresses in AMC’s Mad Men, what Michael Scott would do next in NBC’s The Office or who will be killed off next in HBO’s Game of Thrones, television stimulates conversation. No, it isn’t a discussion of the national debt, international strife or worldwide poverty. It’s lighter than that. But every once in a while, a show will stimulate incredible conversation and make an audience really think. I want to be apart of it. I want to make people think about the content and characters of a show long after they’ve switched off the television set. Surprise them, scare them, and reassure them, it doesn’t matter which.
While some write off communications as “easy,” I have worked too many late nights in the edit suites alongside other students working tirelessly to put their best work forward. Communication students are some of the hardest working people I know, and I’m proud to be able to work among them! This winter, I helped start Elon’s first-ever morning show, Elon in the Morning. As executive producer, I am able to run the show, work with some of my best friends, write, produce and work with on-air talent as we strive to put on a show together. The work and dedication that my fellow communications students put in to make this show a success makes me emotional. It’s goofy, but true. Not only are they coworkers, they are my best friends.
Communications is a truly special field (though I’m biased) where students are encouraged to collaborate and support one another in their creative efforts. This perfectly embodies what I want to call my career in two short years. Living in New York City this summer only solidifies my desire to be here, work here and make a difference in this industry. How? I’m not sure yet. But I will keep pressing, keep working and keep striving to work in the field that I love.