Faculty, students make “connections” on WLEZ
January 19th, 2014 by masscomm
By Jermaine McClinton
A new talk show has hit the airwaves, courtesy of WLEZ Radio. JSU Connections debuted in May and broadcasts live from the Mississippi e-Center on Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., said Sunny Fridge, assistant professor and co-creator of the show, which is also streamed live on www.wlez.org.
The non-commercial station, which plays a mix of music ranging from jazz to New Orleans fare, offers programming opportunities to the public and covers the Jackson metro area. WLEZ is owned by Edward Saint Pe, who moved his Weathervision operation to the e-Center in Aug. 2012.
“We were approached by e-Center Executive Director Dr. William McHenry, who had been talking with Mr. Saint Pe about collaborations,” said Fridge. “Dr. McHenry asked us if the Mass Communications department would like the opportunity to produce a radio program, and without hesitation Dr. [Monica] Flippin-Wynn and I both said ‘yes’, and the rest as they say is ‘history.’” Flippin-Wynn, former interim chair, is also an MC assistant professor.
Fridge teams up with a group of MC students to host the show each week, delivering local, state, national and world news, as well as interviews and commentary.
I like working on JSU Connections because of the on-air experience, " said Crystal Killingsworth, 22, an MC senior from Utica, Miss., who hosts the Campus View segment and operates the audio board. "I get the opportunity to expand my multimedia skills on a platform other than print and television."
The show broadcasts from a small studio in the Weathervision offices, and they take advantage of the proximity. "Several times during bad weather, we have literally grabbed the weather anchor from the studio and aked him to come in to do a quick forecast at the top of our show," said Fridge.
The radio show gives students a chance to build their resumes. “It has become a wonderful learning tool by allowing students to work on their craft and giving them valuable experiences in the field,” said Fridge. Students have learned board operations, editing, writing, hosting and producing on deadline, in addition to public relations.
Now that Saint Pe has given the department another show, to air Thursdays 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., Fridge said she is looking for more students to put to work.
The MC Department will archive the shows on its website: www.jsums.edu/masscomm.