Professor Ben Bogardus
This summer, Ben Bogardus has been pulling quite a few "all-nighters."
But he's not cramming for a big exam. The journalism professor is spending the summer working the overnight shift at a local TV station to stay current on new industry technologies and trends.
Bogardus, chair and assistant professor of journalism in the School of Communications, is producing the news at WFSB's Channel 3 Eyewitness News while his students are away on summer break, and while most people are fast asleep.
"The fact that I'm staying active in the industry benefits my students in that I can teach them the real world skills they need to report real news stories that affect real people in real communities," said Bogardus.
Prior to coming to Quinnipiac in 2010, Bogardus was an award-winning newscast producer at WJLA, Washington, D.C.'s ABC affiliate.
In an age where reporters can go live as long as they have a cellphone signal, it's important for the reporters and producers of tomorrow to learn and work with the latest technology, Bogardus explains. "Everything is much more computerized now," said Bogardus. "I can tell my students firsthand what it's like in the industry and teach them what they need to know to work in a modern TV newsroom."
But becoming familiar with the latest gadgets and programs isn't the only thing students need to be successful in the broadcast news field. Real-world experience is paramount in the development of any good journalist, and it's something Bogardus stresses in his classes.
"I don't let my students do stories on campus," said Bogardus. "That's one of my rules."
Bogardus loves seeing the growth and improvement of his students over the course of a semester, or in some cases, several semesters. Classes at Quinnipiac are small enough that professors truly get to know their students.
"I've met some students as sophomores and had them in my classes up through their senior year," said Bogardus.
He's also seen many of his students graduate from producing newscasts in the University's Ed McMahon Mass Communications Center, to producing newscasts in studios all over the country as full-time broadcasters.
"The people who get hired these days need to be versatile," said Bogardus. "You need to know how to write, shoot, edit, interview and use multimedia tools."
Thanks to Bogardus' devotion to his craft, his students will have all of the skills needed to succeed in and out of the newsroom.
It makes all of those sleepless summer nights worth it.
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