Gray TV hosts networking day for Arnolt Center students

When students apply for multimedia journalism jobs, they’re told their application reels will only receive 10 seconds of attention from news directors.

On March 26, IU juniors and seniors were given more than an hour with a potential employer. Gray Television, a leading television broadcast company, partnered with the Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism to offer a two-part Zoom session. The afternoon consisted of an initial informational Q&A session followed by breakout rooms.

“It was just fantastic,” said Senior Lecturer Anne Ryder. “I have no doubt this is going to translate into job offers.”

Ryder moderated the event, which allowed students to ask direct questions to senior news directors and receive feedback on their reels.

About 30 students attended. The Q&A session, which Gray officials allowed to go longer than the previously allotted time, was available to juniors and seniors. Graduating seniors filled out surveys about their interests prior to the event, and the second session breakout rooms corresponded with their survey results, Ryder said.

“As a student graduating into the pandemic, this one-on-one time with Gray TV helped answer pending questions, improve my reel, create connections and improve my overall confidence,” said senior Lexi Vennetti.

Vennetti plans to begin a career as a multimedia journalist after she graduates in May. She said she appreciated how productive the event was.

“It was also evident how much Gray Television prepared for this event and how much they cared,” Vennetti said, noting how the organization catered the opportunity personally to each student.

Broadcast students spoke to Senior Vice President of Local Media Tim Ingram, Director of News Services James Finch and news directors from Gray Television stations.

“The students came armed with their questions, good questions,” Ryder said.

Students asked about traits most valued in the industry, how they could improve their reels and available opportunities.

“The students were terrific,” Ryder said. “This couldn’t have gone better. I was thrilled with how it went great.”

Professor of practice Kathleen Johnston, who directs the Arnolt Center, orchestrated the opportunity, a partnership both organizations hope to repeat in-person next year.