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What’s your Major? Why the Next Katie Couric May Come From Minnesota.

Good News: A College Program that Prepares Students for the Real World

By Brian Ashburn, Minnesota State University, Moorhead

You wouldn’t think it, but the next Katie Couric may just come from Minnesota.

When it comes to the media industry, cities like Los Angeles and New York have a reputation for monopolizing the best jobs. And it’s true, if you’re looking to make it big, the finish line is definitely one of those two markets. Coming from central, rural Minnesota, I dream of being greeted by crazy fans in Rockefeller Center as I report the biggest headlines of the day. Growing up, I felt as though my location hindered my dream and forced me to follow a mundane road to a career of agriculture.

That is, until I arrived at Campus News.

Brian Ashburn Photo - Blog 1

I attend Minnesota State University Moorhead, a school right across the Red River from Fargo, North Dakota (dontchya know). As a broadcast journalism major, I have an unbridled passion for breaking news and probing interviews with world leaders. Being able to film a coup in a war-torn country isn’t a born talent; it’s something you learn to do.

The journalism program at MSUM provides me with a unique experience to get a well-rounded, hands-on education. I write scripts for anchors, report from a boat floating on a flooding river, edit news packages and film a catastrophic snowstorm… and that’s just a week’s worth of homework.

While most majors require you to read a textbook, take notes and pass a test, Campus News enables me to be a real-world journalist covering college-related news in the Midwest. We have a student-run weekly newscast that is broadcast on public television in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Canada.

I have the opportunity to report in front of thousands of viewers each week; my classroom is in their living rooms.

The students are the producers, editors, reporters, anchors and photojournalists. Together, we figure out what is the important news and how to convey it to our audience. We have had stories from the Virgin Islands, video in the heart of a blizzard, interviews with controversial leaders; by the time we graduate, our resume reels are more diverse than some journalists who have been in the professional field for years.

Our professors are real journalists from some of the top news stations in the areas. Instead of making us read about how to write a script, they let us constantly write and provide practical critiques. They bring us to their stations, show us their newsrooms, and let us experience first-hand how to thrive in a major regional news market like Fargo. Their years of experience foster the perfect education for upcoming journalists like me, which inspires me to be a better student.

Our generation is regarded as lazy, apathetic and entitled. But I challenge anyone who thinks that to watch our newscast. The passion and drive behind each story will prove way more than strong ACT test scores.

Like CollegeTourist, Campus News is a perfect example of how college students are more dedicated to their futures than ever. We are at a point in our lives where we can go wherever we desire, see whatever we can, and be whomever we want. Some people see college as the best four years of partying; we see it as a platform to propel our dreams to another level.

Campus News fuels my passion to succeed. We are recognized every year for having one of the top college news programs in the Midwest. Students who graduate from the program are able to find jobs, no problem. And while those things are very important, to me, Campus News lets me discover who I am from in front of a camera.



Brian Ashburn

Minnesota State University | 3 stories

Brian Ashburn is a junior at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He is majoring in Mass Communications (Broadcast Journalism emphasis) with minors in Film Production and English Writing. On campus, Brian is a writer and reporter with Campus News, arts and entertainment editor at The Advocate newspaper, student orientation counselor, outreach coordinator of Dragon Entertainment Group, admissions ambassador and communications assistant with the admissions office. He has interned at his university, Second Line Stages Film Studio in New Orleans, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Burbank, California.

3 responses to “What’s your Major? Why the Next Katie Couric May Come From Minnesota.”

  1. […] What’s your Major? Why the Next Katie Couric May Come From Minnesota. […]

  2. […] To check out the broadcast journalism program at my university, click here. […]

  3. […] What’s your Major? Why the Next Katie Couric May Come From Minnesota. […]

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