Reprinted here in its entirety.
What is the city doing to stop crime? What is in the water you
are drinking? Who won the game last night? Wherever you work, study or play, you
call Jacksonville home. WJXS TV24, a commercially owned and operated local
station, broadcasts the answers to these questions and many more via television
and Internet from the campus of Jacksonville State University in Self Hall.
Working closely with TV24, the JSU Television Services Department is involved
with all JSU productions such as athletic broadcasts and graduations aired on
Last semester, the hard working staff of TV Services won two Tellys in the
28th annual Telly Awards, a local and regional competition honoring commercials,
productions, film and video.
The Telly awards are highly sought after and each year include thousands of
entries from all over the world.
The program “Gospel Music Southern Style” won a Silver Telly, the highest
award presented by the organization, and the promotional video for JSU’s
fund-raising initiative, “The Power of 125, Join the Celebration-A Campaign for
Jacksonville State University,” won a Bronze Telly. With the addition of two
bronze Tellys garnered in 2005, TV Services has now won four of these
“The Silver Telly is a huge honor because it is only awarded to a small
number of entries and signifies the best of the best,” says Director of
Television Services and Engineering Mike Hathcock. “Also, Telly award judges are
past winners, which means projects are being judged by peers in the industry.”
Two Department of Communication students were involved in the projects
recognized by the Telly Awards. Bobby Mikel, an August 2007 graduate, who is now
a full-time TV Services employee, and Johnathon Sikes, a December 2007 graduate,
were both student workers for Television services and played major roles in the
planning and actual production of the two award-winning projects.
Communication students at JSU are fortunate to have TV24 housed in the same
building as their classrooms. The local station becomes a type of classroom, and
the directors their real world professors, as student workers are used as often
as possible on the production crew for events.
“Working for TV Services or for TV24 provides ‘real world, on-the-job
training’ for our students. This definitely gives them an advantage when they
graduate and are looking for jobs,” says Hathcock. “TV24 also provides
internship opportunities for students and actually employs students on a part
Many TV Services workers and communication student workers use the skills
they acquire in the department’s hands-on learning experiences to advance in
their careers. Several of these students are now doing full-time freelance work
on all major networks including ESPN, FOX and CBS.
“One of my former student workers is now considered one of the best EVS (a
hard drive-based instant replay system) operators in the country and works major
sporting events,” Hathcock says. “Other former students routinely work major
network college games around the country.”
One broadcast communication alum is the assistant news director at WBRC Fox 6
in Birmingham and another works as an on-air talent at the same station. Another
graduate works as a reporter for a CBS affiliate in Chicago. JSU also has
numerous grads that work or have worked with CNN in Atlanta.
The advantages gained for all communication students, including radio, print
and web, are immense, as each concentration has a working application: The
Chanticleer, the student-run campus newspaper, The Mimosa, the student-made
yearbook, WLJS 91.9 FM, the JSU radio station with student-operated shows, and
The Department of Communication has recently passed the first step in a
three-step accreditation process. Thus far, three members of the Accreditation
Council of Education have recommended the department for full accreditation.
There are more than a dozen communication departments in the state, and the
department at JSU looks to become the third accredited.
For more information on the Department of Communication at JSU, visit
Erin Chupp, a graduate assistant in the Office of Marketing and
Communications, contributed to this article.
About William A. Meehan
Dr. William A. Meehan is president of Jacksonville
State University. His column, "Town & Gown," appears in The Jacksonville News.
See story at The Jacksonville News's website: www.jaxnews.com