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WRBB airs news segment

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Published on March 11, 2009 in The Huntington News

Student-run news broadcasts have come to Northeastern again, and this time WRBB says it is here to stay.
Since Jan. 20, WRBB has been airing an hour long news program every Tuesday, originally reported and run by students, rather than reciting stories discovered on CNN’s website for news coverage as it used to be.

This change was initiated by News Director Marshall Brennan, who said that because of the quality of Northeastern’s journalism program, there wasn’t an excuse not to write and air their own news.

“[I thought] we have all this firepower and great talent here, so why are we quoting CNN,” Brennan said.

This is the first successful student populated news segment the radio station has had, WRBB manager Dan Germain said.

“We’ve tried having news shows in the past and they normally fold after a couple of weeks,” he said. “But Marshall is really in depth and really impressive. From the time he had the idea to have it be a weekly, he had it in the next week’s programming.”

The show now airs noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays instead of at noon and 5 p.m. daily for five to ten minutes as it used to be, cutting down the actual time news is broadcast. Despite this, Brennan said this plan is actually better.

“What we broadcast now is higher quality in what Northeastern can produce,” he said. “It used to be all national news or politics whereas now we can focus on issues that are direct and pertinent to Northeastern.”

Even with the shorter time, because the news is more focused around the Northeastern community sometimes it is challenging to fill the time slot, one of the show’s co-host’s Lauren Sheffer said.

“Some news weeks are harder and we worry about if we’ll fill the show or not,” she said. “But we usually pull it off.”

The programming on the segment currently ranges from straight news stories to special interest to even an advice segment where topics like what should be put on Facebook are featured.

At the beginning of the news segment’s creation, Brennan held a meeting for students interested, and 17 signed up.

“We had a big push at the beginning of the year, so we’ve been open to a lot of new people coming,” Brennan said. “A lot of the writers that have been there all along have brought along their friends.”

As the segment is growing, so is the demand for new writers.

“Right now we’re just lacking sheer man power,” Brennan said. “We wanted to get structured before we expanded, and now we have it down and we’d like to get bigger and fulfill the goal to provide news on a weekly basis.”

Since the show began, it has already increased the number of participating hosts, from just Sheffer and fellow anchor Mike Matranga, freshman business major, to now including Alyssa Castiglia, a freshman music industry major, and Jeanine Budd, a junior journalism major.

“I did a radio show back in high school as well, and I’m a shy person so the banter is intimidating for me,” said Sheffer, a freshman journalism major. “But I’ve gotten over that and we [the hosts] have really good chemistry together. I really look forward to coming in.”

Germain said he’s impressed that the show has solid listeners.

“We want as much variety as we can, and throwing in a news show is great,” he said. “Talk shows can be interesting, but to have an entirely serious show isn’t easy to have on a college radio station.”

The show is still growing, and though they have had some caller commentary, Sheffer said more listener feedback would help keep the show evolving by knowing what the audience thinks.

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Written by jdunccc

March 11, 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in The Huntington News

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