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Communication student John Reis, right, discusses a segment for Northshore News with Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon, left, and Corey Broman-Fulks, who supervises the program.
John Reis is a self-admitted “news junkie.” A communication and political science major from Mandeville, he has been able to turn his passion for news into a career launching experience.
Three years ago, Reis became co-creator of Northshore News, one of the Southeastern Channel’s 50-plus originally-produced series. The program covers events and stories throughout the north shore. With an audience of 250,000 in four parishes, the show is providing Reis the skills he will need in the news industry.
“It’s not so much the daily newscast that you might see on a local network affiliate; it’s more of a local in-depth newscast,” said Reis. “We can really go into detail, get the ideas and the real story behind what’s going on, so we’re not only informing and entertaining viewers, we’re also providing a real, powerful community service that can’t be matched by any of the area network affiliates.”
During its short run, the show as well as Reis himself have been awarded a number of honors. Winning the “Top Television News Reporter” category in both the “Mark of Excellence” and “Best of South” competitions, as well as other awards, Reis is gaining invaluable experience, while making his mark through his work at the Channel.
The Southeastern Channel, named “Best College Television Station in the South” by the Southeast Journalism Conference, provides students with the opportunity to choose which stories they will cover. They then write, report, produce, shoot, anchor and edit their own hard news and feature packages. Topics vary from hurricane-proof houses to high school Heisman winners.
As the Northshore News producer and anchor, Reis believes in the importance of the experience students can receive at the Southeastern Channel.
“It’s like walking into a textbook. Everything that you learn in class, you’re able to practice hands-on,” he said.
“We make sure that students get the necessary training, in-front-of and behind-the-camera, at the anchor desk and in the editing suite,” said Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “Our courses and shows require that students get training in all facets of television and video production so that they’re more marketable when they graduate.”
On programs like Northshore News, which follows a professional news show format, students are fully immersed in the news-room experience. From the formal industry attire, to a state of the art set and cutting edge lighting technology, the Channel gives students every advantage they need to create resume-worthy demo-reels and get the training they need for success.
“Everything is done as if it’s a professional show. This shows employers that our students have been working in the closest thing to a professional environment and that they’re extremely well-prepared for the workplace,” said Settoon.
Students are taught every aspect of the news industry, including work ethic.
“One thing I learned early at the Channel is that when you do something, you really want to do it right and put your heart into it. That’s a real testament to the experience, knowledge and passion that the staff brings,” said Reis.
He said that the people, the academic program, and the technology are the major benefits students can receive at the Southeastern Channel. His training allowed him to start his own company, Double Helix Media, which handles video production, web and graphic design, and consultation on digital media and social marketing.
Through educational and enjoyable work at Northshore News, Reis has been given an amazing opportunity to work and learn. During the first three years of the show, he produced, wrote, reported, anchored, shot and edited story packages in addition to assembling the entire show.
“For a while, John Reis was Northshore News. He pushed it to higher levels. It’s very impressive what one person can do. When I arrived, I never thought one student could do so much, until I met him. Northshore News wouldn’t be where it is today without him,” said Corey Broman-Fulks, who supervises the program.
Soon Reis’s creation will be more than just an award-winning show.
“It is the centerpiece for the new electronic media concentration in the Communication Department,” said Settoon. Students will be able to work in a variety of production positions before working on other Southeastern programs.
By working with the Southeastern Channel on Northshore News, Reis says he has had a wonderful experience.
“I would strongly, strongly encourage any potential student or any current student here to take the opportunity they’re given having such an incredible television station right here on campus,” he said.