Holly Pipenberg and Jacob Gordon—Students Behind River Region Evening Edition

River Region Evening Edition is a live, student-run news broadcast that airs for 30 minutes Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semester. Every aspect of the production is handled by student volunteers in the Department of Mass Media and Media Arts, from writing and researching news stories to reporting to filming and production. The program serves as a fantastic opportunity for students to learn the ins and outs of a live broadcast.

Holly Pipenburg

Holly Pipenburg is a senior Radio, Television, and Digital Media Major and News Director for River Region Evening Edition. Holly’s journey to broadcast journalism started with an interest in political science. As she looked more into the history of politics in the United States, the more journalism’s crucial role in the process became clear. When she started at SIU, she knew she wanted to be a journalist, but wasn’t certain how to be involved on campus. Then a friend suggested looking into opportunities offered by WSIU, and Holly was immediately interested in learning everything she could about broadcast. “I tried my hand at video and audio production, writing, and eventually newsroom management. I can’t imagine my college experience without WSIU.”

For Holly, the direct experience with all aspects of running a TV broadcast is a fantastic way to prepare for her future career. “Without this program, I wouldn’t be able to touch any of this equipment until after graduation. Now, I feel like I’ll be able to enter the workforce at a much faster rate.” She also enjoys working with other creative people in a fast-paced environment that is challenging, but not too punishing. “The ability to learn something new in an environment that doesn’t punish you has helped shape me into a person that enjoys testing my own abilities.”

After graduation next spring, Holly hopes to get a job in television news, as a manager or doing long-form multimedia reporting. Her dream job would be working for a late-night television show, and the big dream is to work on Saturday Night Live. Holly credits Tina Fey as being one of her role models, as both a media professional and a woman, and really admires how Fey has impacted the country’s political discourse through her role on SNL. Holly would “love to work on [SNL] someday as a writer or Weekend Update anchor so that I can continue [Fey’s] tradition of challenging the public’s view of politics and pop culture.”

When she’s able to take a break from her own broadcast, Holly enjoys watching Scholastic Hi-Q and answering the trivia questions along with area high school students. Outside of SIU, Holly enjoys reading, biking, and making short documentaries.

Catch River Region Evening Edition on WSIU TV during the spring and fall semesters, Monday through Thursday, at 5 pm.

Jacob Gordon

Jacob Gordon is a Radio and Television Digital Media major at SIU. He serves as an Executive Producer and Anchor for River Region Evening Edition. Ever since he can remember, Jacob has loved watching the news on TV, always wanting to know about the events and stories happening around the world. As a child, he looked up to the anchors on the local news. He remembers meeting some of them at a community event and getting to ask them questions about their jobs. Now that he gets to work as an anchor himself, he enjoys using his storytelling abilities to inform viewers about the news of the day.

Since working on River Region Evening Edition, Jacob has learned about all the aspects of a news broadcast, from using the camera equipment to writing a story to editing video and using news rundown software. The hands-on experience is especially valuable for applying for jobs in the field in the future. “To be a good candidate for a job in the industry, you need to know how to do everything from video editing and writing to producing a newscast.”

While Jacob has only been reporting for a year, he recalls his favorite feature story so far. “I reported on the kick off to summer class registration. SIU admissions hosted “Ribs, Tips and Pie!” At the event, students got barbeque ribs and tips about taking summer classes and a piece of pie. I ended the story eating pie. BEST day EVER!”

Once he graduates in May 2020, Jacob hopes to continue his current path and become a broadcast news anchor or reporter full time. Ultimately his dream is to become the anchor of a network morning news broadcast, which he is especially suited for as a self-professed “happy and cheerful” morning person. “Even though you would have to be at work super early in the morning, having the afternoons off would be great.”

When he isn’t working on the news broadcast or other school work, Jacob is involved in FFA on campus. In his free time, he enjoys traveling around to see the sights of Southern Illinois, like Granite City State Park and Garden of the Gods. He also enjoys exploring the towns along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

Tune In

If you’re interested in watching Jacob, Holly, and the other students in action on River Region Evening Edition, you can tune into WSIU TV at 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during the SIU fall and spring semesters. And don’t forget to follow them on Facebook here for news clips and stories.

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