Student-run organizations pave the way to success for Auburn media students

Published: June 24, 2020
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When Auburn University journalism student Jack West graduates and walks into a newsroom anywhere in the country, he’ll do so knowing his strong foundation has prepared him to accomplish any task.

He is one of the many students enrolled in the School of Communication and Journalism, taking advantage of the training and expertise offered by the Auburn Student Media Group—an umbrella organization for several student-run media organizations, ranging from broadcast television to literary magazines.

Whether students are looking for on-camera experience or trying to improve their photography skills, the Auburn Student Media Group has a wide range of outside-the-classroom opportunities that complement the school’s highly touted instruction.

“In the last three years, I have gotten an immense amount of hands-on experience by working at The Auburn Plainsman,” said West, editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper and a rising senior.

Fellow journalism student, Delaney Baro, echoes that sentiment.

“I chose Auburn because I want to enter the sports broadcasting field after graduation, and I knew Auburn would have plenty of opportunities for me to gain experience,” said Baro, a rising junior. “After learning more about the curriculum and classes I would be taking, I knew the School of Communication and Journalism would well prepare me for my future.”

Baro serves as the director of sports reporting of Eagle Eye TV and is taking advantage of the career-oriented programs offered by the school to ensure her future success.

Eagle Eye TV is a student-run television station on campus that produces multiple shows a week, covering topics such as campus news, sports and entertainment. Students receive priceless experience in every aspect of broadcast news, including writing, marketing and being on camera.

“My favorite part about being involved with Eagle Eye is all of the amazing learning opportunities I've had,” Baro said. “I have gained so much experience already, especially by covering some of the most exciting sporting events I've ever attended,” she said, referring to the 2019 Iron Bowl.

The Auburn Student Media Group includes three other media organizations on campus: The Auburn Circle, WEGL 91.1 FM and The Glomerata yearbook.

The Auburn Circle, a literary and art magazine, gives students the opportunity to showcase their creativity while enhancing their writing skills. Students who have a love for music or photography have the chance to share their passion with others through the student-run radio station, WEGL 91.1, and The Glomerata yearbook.

Although the organizations work independently, being a part of the Auburn Student Media Group gives them the opportunity to learn, collaborate and share ideas with each other. The media groups also receive helpful insight and guidance from several College of Liberal Arts faculty members who serve as the group’s advisers.

“One of my favorite things about The Plainsman is getting to work with the other organizations to produce content,” said West, who oversees all the content and managerial decisions that the newspaper makes while also getting one step closer to fulfilling his dream of being a journalist by writing stories about the Auburn community.

“I have learned how to do interviews with everyone from business owners to poets and from activists to city council members. All of this experience has led me to become a more confident writer and a more determined journalist.”

Breland McHenry shares a similar view with West when it comes to her experience in an Auburn Student Media Group organization.

“WEGL 91.1 has prepared me for my future career by allowing and encouraging hands-on experiences,” said McHenry, station manager. “It requires responsibility and has improved my problem-solving skills.”

As a rising senior, McHenry has spent three years learning the ropes of the radio industry by holding several positions within the organization including being a DJ, assistant program director and program director.

“My favorite part about working for WEGL 91.1 is the people I have met along the way,” McHenry said. “The people I work with are some of my best friends that I never would have met without joining WEGL 91.1. I also think it is pretty cool that I can have an opinion over what music and content is broadcasted over the air for listeners to enjoy.”

Chloe McMahon, editor-in-chief of The Auburn Circle, gets the same satisfaction as McHenry when it comes to having a say over her organization’s media content.

“For months, the staff and I comb through submissions looking for the artwork that most stands out,” McMahon said. “After spending all this time with the pieces, you feel a sort of intimacy with the art, and you become so invested in seeing what the magazine will look like. When I finally hold the new copy in my hands, I feel so much pride in my organization and what we accomplished.”

The fifth member of the Auburn Student Media Group is The Glomerata. The staff has worked hard to preserve the memories of each school year since 1897, making it one of the oldest organizations on campus. Through their experience creating and publishing The Glomerata annually, staff members have the opportunity to develop and improve their writing, designing and photography skills.

The Auburn Student Media Group organizations are open to students of all majors who are interested in the media industry, not just the School of Communication and Journalism students. Most of the organizations require little to no experience to join, making them a great place for freshmen to jumpstart their future media careers.

“I chose Auburn before I knew what I wanted to do, but after declaring my major I knew it was the perfect fit for me,” McHenry said.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.