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WVIK secures more money for interns

April  04, 2014

Within weeks of Augustana College rolling out a new strategic plan with a heavy focus on career preparation, WVIK, Augustana public radio, announces the station will offer two paid internships for Augustana students starting in the fall of 2014.

At a time when budgets at the college and the radio station are under tight constraints, donors stepped up to fund the internships. The Robert and Patricia Hanson Foundation and the CD Wiman Memorial Trust have provided seed money, and plans are in place to create an endowment to fund the positions in future years.

“WVIK is partnering with Augustana’s Department of Communication Studies to find the right students and build a prestigious internship program, where students would work in the newsroom approximately 10 hours per week for college credit,” said Jay Pearce, CEO and general manager of WVIK.

“Here at WVIK, we pride ourselves on being the only local radio news department in the Quad Cities,” added Pearce.

The interns will supplement WVIK’s professional news staff. “The goal is to create even stronger ties to Augustana, to create a more formalized job experience for student-interns and to help the WVIK newsroom staff create more high-quality news stories for our listening area,” explained Jennifer Blohm, development director at WVIK.

Augustana’s Department of Communication Studies’ Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication (MJMC) program is in its fifth year and continues to grow, providing the ideal pipeline for the new internship positions. The MJMC program combines skills-based multimedia reporting courses with a strong liberal arts focus to develop future journalists who also are critical thinkers and engaged citizens.

Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow, associate professor of communication studies, said, “We're so pleased to be able to formalize the relationship between WVIK and Augustana’s MJMC program.”

Dr. Hilton-Morrow continued, “This new internship program illustrates the natural alignment between WVIK’s mission and Augustana’s student learning outcomes, including critical thinking and information literacy, ethical citizenship and intellectual curiosity. When students work in WVIK’s newsroom under the close supervision of its professional staff, they hone their broadcast journalism skills in a public radio environment that values journalistic integrity and models journalists’ civic responsibility."

“Internship experiences offer students invaluable learning opportunities and the tools to build a professional portfolio for future employment opportunities,” said Pearce. “When students work in WVIK’s newsroom, they make great strides in their writing and reporting skills thanks to the close attention they receive from News Director Herb Trix and News Editor Michelle O’Neill.”

In the past, these experiences often have been unpaid, making it difficult for students to commit to multiple academic terms in the newsroom.

“With the proposed internship program in place, students will be better able to work for multiple terms and even years in WVIK’s newsroom,” Pearce said.

About WVIK: WVIK, broadcasting at 90.3 FM in the Quad Cities and 95.9 in Dubuque, Iowa, is the source for public radio for the Quad Cities and surrounding 75-mile radius in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. WVIK’s 30,000 weekly listeners trust the station’s award-winning journalism, thoughtful array of music and insightful commentary. WVIK consistently is ranked as the number one “most listened to” public radio station in the Quad Cities.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833