General manager reflects on time in student media

Posted on May 4 2014 - 8:53am by Storm Gerlock, General Manager Mast TV

All who work in student media have a story, a story of how they got involved, why they started and what they’ve done. My student media story isn’t unique. I started as a first-year. I’ve been involved ever since. And now I’m graduating. It’s pretty open and shut. Nothing fancy.  Except student media changed my life.

It’s hard to imagine my life without video. But when I graduated high school, I had never touched a video camera. I had never done a news package. I didn’t even know I was going to end up in the media profession. Honestly, I almost ended up majoring in literature, which wouldn’t have been a bad choice — I minored in it after all.

I joined student media and along with it came journalism, which is probably the best decision I have made so far in my life. I fell in love with video production and Mast Student Television. Through Mast TV, I have seen six different News @ Nine teams, three general managers — including myself — a name change and a merger. The last News @ Nine episode was last night, and I can’t help but remember where I started.

That’s what your senior year is for. You reflect and when reflecting, you can’t help but think of both the successes and the regrets. Mast TV has given me so much: a vocation, a community and most of all experience. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for student media, I would not be happy with my college career.

Most communication majors have to balance classes, internships and jobs.  Mast TV gave me practical application of my classes, the real world experience of an internship and even paid me.  Now, I’m not saying I didn’t do projects off campus — I did — but I took advantage of what student media had to offer. And I will miss it. So much so that I find myself jealous of those who are just starting out and frustrated with those who haven’t taken advantage of all that student media has to offer.

I am graduating, so my advice could either mean nothing to you and you will forget what you’ve read or this could be the start of your student media story.  For anyone interested in media, writing or video, there is a place for you here. With only a couple more weeks left in the school year, there aren’t a lot of opportunities, but there is still time.  For one, if you are reading this, you have picked up the paper or gone online to our website — congratulations.

Another opportunity coming up is a viewing party for Mast TV’s first Film Race which will be in the Anderson University Center room 171 at 8 p.m. May 15.  PLU’s two publications, Saxifrage and The Matrix, will be circulating around campus within the next couple weeks, so be sure to pick those up along with a student CD from Lute Air Student Radio. The release party of all three is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m in The Cave. But your job isn’t over yet.  If you are returning next year, I urge you to seek out student media if you have any interest in being involved.

I won’t be here, but you could be. Even if you don’t want to be involved, another viewer wouldn’t hurt either.  I can’t end my sentimental senior op-ed without saying thank you to my amazing staff. Thank you to Mast TV News @ Nine producer Allie Reynolds, who has made News @ Nine her own in the best way and has so much enthusiasm and grace. I cannot wait to see her succeed next year.

Thank you to multimedia editor Evan Heringer, my right hand person who has helped me manage scheduling and equipment and whose creativity and passion for video brought Mast TV and LASR’s live studio sessions to life. I can say with absolute confidence that next year has some exciting changes in store for student media. Over the summer, the studio will be going through an overhaul that will bring News @ Nine to you in a new and exciting way next fall. But that story isn’t finished yet, so I can’t tell it.

I’m sad to leave, but I’m not worried. The studio has existed long before me and will continue to exist for years to come. My student media story isn’t unique. In fact it could be your story.  Except, student media has changed my life. And I like to think I have changed student media too.