Southeast Student Honing Skills for Future in Sports Broadcasting

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Southeast Missouri State University senior Rebecca Gangemella of Warrensburg, Missouri, is polishing her journalistic skills on the sidelines of Redhawks athletics, hoping her experiences translate to a “win” in the sports broadcasting arena after graduation.

This year, she’s responsible for producing multimedia segments, including “Redhawk Roundup” video sports recaps and “Hawks Nest,” shows for the Arrow, Southeast’s student newspaper, where she’s working as its video producer.

“She takes every opportunity in front of and behind the camera lens, and the proof of her work is evidenced in her growth,” said Dr. Tamara Buck, associate professor of mass media and the Arrow faculty advisor. “Her products, “Redhawk Roundup” and “Hawks Nest,” demonstrate what happens when students accept my challenge to look for innovative new ways to produce content. Rebecca worked with professors within our department to develop these ideas, and we’ve found ways to incorporate production of the shows into multiple mass media courses.”

In addition to her video production work with the Arrow, Gangemella, a dance and multimedia journalism double major, interned this summer with CBS affiliate KFVS12 in Cape Girardeau, working with reporters in story development. She also works as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Digital Network’s crew covering Redhawks competitions, an experience she credits as the key to her future.

“She’s going to have an exciting and successful career because she’s prepared,” Buck said. “Rebecca is laying a strong foundation for her future career, and I have no doubt that she’s going to have much to bring to the table when she begins to interview for jobs.”

On a typical day at KFVS12:

I would go out in the field with reporters, helping them gather video and conduct interviews, essentially shadowing their different tips and tricks on how they do their jobs. Back at the station, I worked with the reporters and anchors on piecing together packages. That included writing the script, editing the video and recording the audio for the voice-over.

On the benefits of the experience:

I learned a lot about my presence in front of the camera. This helped build up my confidence. I learned how to word things differently for print or broadcast. I enjoyed the people. They were so much fun and very willing to take me under their belt and coach me, mentor me and train me. I also got to shadow the meteorologists, which was fascinating because that’s nowhere near my career field, but it was awesome to see what they analyze and how they put their segments together.

On her Arrow, OVC Digital Network and ESPN+ Experiences:

I’m the video producer for the Arrow. I’m in charge of the “Redhawk Roundup,” so I post 90-second sports recap videos Monday and Thursday on our social media. I am the creator and producer of the show “Hawks Nest,” which is a show like “SportsCenter.” The talent will highlight a couple of big games that happened in the week with SEMO sports. It is primarily for mass media classes to experience on-camera and behind the scenes positions. I want to be able to coach those in front of the camera.

I am also on the crew for the OVC Digital Network, which involves a pregame and halftime show and interjections during timeouts and between quarters. I also work the camera and the graphics, and I’ve directed a couple of baseball games.

On her future goals:

Sports broadcasting. My dream job is to work for the Kansas City Royals.

On Southeast’s contribution to her success:

Southeast has given me all these opportunities and definitely led me to realizing where my skills and passions lie. I came in as a dance major, but injuries set me back and I needed the second major. Once I got in front of the camera for the OVC eclipse broadcast a year ago, everything just fell into place. I could use my stage presence in front of the camera, and I love to talk. I had no idea I wanted to go into sports broadcasting, but when I started working with sports, I knew it was what I was meant to do. My OVC crew job has been my core training into what I want to do post-graduation. Without my work with the OVC and now the transition into ESPN+, I would have no chance in getting into sports broadcasting. I hear about students in the bigger schools in my field not getting opportunities like this because of how large their school or their major is. So, I’m definitely very grateful and thankful for everything I’ve been able to be involved in at Southeast.