BRADSHAW TALKS ABOUT HER 10 YEARS AT BGSU
Teaching, research, and service are challenging, interesting and exciting endeavors for Katherine Bradshaw, associate professor, who has been with the Department of Journalism and Public relations for 10 years.
Teaching. She has stayed in touch with television and radio colleagues from the many years she worked in broadcast journalism, and she expands her connections with people in the industry at the Radio and Television Digital News convention. She explained that the challenges they face with news staff members frequently mirror the challenges she has with students in the classroom.
“That knowledge lets me explain to students how they can give themselves an edge at their first job, and I hope it inspires them to do better in class,” she said with a laugh.
For example, one year her industry colleagues were frustrated by news staff members using clichés. One news director created a list of clichés she heard on the air. The news director then emailed that list to the staff, put the list at every desk, and posted it around the station.
The problems change; the work place changes, and the students change. “Unless you are in a classroom, it’s hard to imagine the diverse ways students learn. The ever shifting challenge is to prepare diverse learners for jobs in journalism work places,” she said.
The challenge has increased because the journalism work place continues to change. That’s at the same time that the key basics stay the same for working journalists.
Research. Bradshaw continues work on a historical examination of network television news with colleagues at BGSU and other universities. “After six years of work, we spent most of last year verifying details, and now we are beginning to write articles that we hope will add to knowledge about the history of network television news.”
The research provides concrete method examples for her graduate students taking research methods or women and the media. And it provides concrete examples of change for her undergraduate students.
Service. Bradshaw has represented the department with her service to academic professional organizations.
This year she is serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication in her position as chair of the Standing Committee on Professional Freedom and Responsibility. It is the largest organization of journalism teachers and researchers.
In her decade at BGSU, she has served in leadership positions for the Internships and Careers Interest Group, the Electronic News Division, and on the Standing Committee for Research. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Journalism Historians Association.
Today she represents AJHA on the Accrediting Council for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication.
The Accrediting Council is comprised of members from the journalism and mass communication industries and members who teach and research journalism and mass communication. It makes the final decision about which academic units receive accreditation.
Question and Answer.
Q: What is the most fun about being a journalism teacher.
A: Two things are the most fun- seeing graduating broadcast journalism students get the jobs they deserve – and staying in touch with the students who have graduated.
Q: What is the one thing you would like to change about being a journalism teacher?
A: I would really like students, parents, and industry professionals to understand that being a journalism teacher at BGSU means more than being in the classroom. I also have the responsibility to publish research and serve the profession. That BGSU values research and teaching is one of the best things about working here. I’d also like my colleagues in other fields to appreciate that their journalism colleagues are teaching, doing research, and contributing service to professional organizations…just like they are required to do… and that we are also additionally keeping up with the industry and the daily news.
Q: What do you like about BGSU?
A: •I really like that it is important to be a good teacher and a good researcher at BGSU. At some universities, the only thing that really matters is publishing peer-reviewed research. I like that this university recognizes in a practical way the importance between research and undergraduate teaching. It is the way of the future, and BGSU is already there. • I also like that my students are eager to learn. Every broadcast journalism sequence student who was determined to work in broadcast news has found a job when they graduated. I must say that as that among students whose determination wanes so does success in finding a journalism job. It’s great that broadcast journalism students at BGSU have access to everything that they need to be a success in the broadcast journalism workplace. They have the opportunity to participate for four years in an entirely student news broadcast. They have the opportunity for hands on learning at internships at television stations in the 72nd market. And they can learn from teachers who have broad, deep, up-to-date, and leading edge knowledge of the industries in which the students will work. • I also like the opportunity to access urban amenities in Toledo, Detroit, Ann Arbor and Cleveland. It’s sweet that I have access to urban amenities without having drive through urban traffic everyday. And I have great colleagues. Every one of them cares deeply about their students’ success. Nearly all of them have worked in the industry for which they now prepare students.
Q: What advice do you give all students?
A: It’s the same advice for all broadcast journalism students. I tell them to make their career success their priority while they are at BGSU. Even though they might change their mind about what they want to do, they will have learned from that focus. Keeping all your options open means you are not going in any direction. I tell them to make a decision and to be willing to change it. They should take advantage of BG 24 News, the student run newscast, every week from the moment they arrive. They should make classes a priority. Journalists need to know something about everything, and they need to know how to find out what they do not know. I tell them to plan their education so that they can have multiple internships. And finally, the student with an edge will be closely monitoring daily news. And that advice is based on three things. First, it’s what former successful BGSU students have done. Second, it is what research about J&MC students’ shows. Year after year, the research conducted about J&MC students employment after they graduate shows that students with the best grades, student media experience, and multiple internships are by far the most likely to get jobs the soonest after they graduate.