A GW Global Media Institute-produced radio program has been named one of the best in the world, the second year in a row the institute has won the distinction.
Staffed partly by GW students, “This Just In!” won a silver medal in the New York Festivals International Radio Awards’ history category.
Partnered with the Newseum and operating on a $40,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, CBS news correspondent Sam Litzinger hosts “This Just In!” Episodes have featured interviews with Jim Lehrer of PBS, Nick Clooney – a movie expert and father of actor George Clooney – and various other news correspondents, museum curators and key figures in journalism past and present.
Michael Freedman, the director of the Global Media Institute and the radio program’s executive producer, said he wanted to create a show that focused on the impact of journalism throughout history and could be used as a guide for the current journalism revolution.
Senior Konrad Kopczynski manages the show’s online database and has archived its 40 episodes. Lindsay Underwood, also a senior, serves as the show’s associate producer and writes teasers for each program, selecting quotes to bring listeners back week after week.
“The promotion elements and web elements [of the radio series] started with our students,” said Heather Date, another “This Just In!” producer who formerly worked at CNN.
Freedman, who is also a professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs, said he sometimes puts ideas for new programs out to his classes.
“It’s not unusual for the students to have better ideas than I do,” Freedman said.
Freedman said he is proud of what the radio program has accomplished.
“We have a good show. There’s an awful lot of time and energy that goes into it, but you’re always thrilled when a jury of your peers agrees,” he said.
The Global Media Institute plans to add the National Press Club as a third partner if the radio program is awarded a new grant, as well as increase student involvement.
“We hope they get out of this good experience while they’re working that they can transfer to work and their future,” Date said.