Alyssa Ashe, Contributing Writer
Vision TV's new assistant news director is not your average upperclassman, but Journie Crenshaw, a sophomore, with a passion for television news and a desire to lead while still learning herself.
After finding out the position was open for the schoolyear, Crenshaw took initiative and reached out to the news director and expressed interest. Knowing Crenshaw's bubbly, sweet personality and southern charm, the news director was looking forward to getting to know her professionally. They set up an interview where Crenshaw was asked about her strengths and weaknesses, availabilities and her desire to continue with Vision TV in the future. She passed with flying colors and impressed the news director with her eagerness and willingness to learn a new system quickly to be an effective leader.
"I've had to adapt because I'm pretty much a new person in there as well as being in a leadership position, so I've had to learn a bunch," Crenshaw said. For this young leader "a bunch" includes how to create a news package and basic leadership skills.
Her responsibilities include keeping up with the points, assisting the news director, planning staff events and being flexible to help with video shoots. Crenshaw has learned the basics of reporting, shooting, editing and what it means to create a news story and assign them to her staff in video practicum. Through her learning curve, she has kept a positive attitude the entire time and has encouraged others to create quality work and have fun while doing it.
Aside from being enthusiastic and positive, Crenshaw's professor, Media Instructor Andrew Stevens says she is also "good at the details from what I've seen, and it will really help her a lot because there are a lot of details to pulling this together."
The details proved to be very important in her first time reporting for a news package, covering the Couture for a Cause event in Greenville. At this event, cancer survivors or those greatly affected by it modeled special outfits created by local designers. When approaching the designers and cancer survivors, Crenshaw was graceful and clear in her questions even though she was nervous. She was assisted by the news director, who shot the package and led her in her on camera appearances. Crenshaw already had her questions prepared and was not afraid to talk to anyone.
Crenshaw proved to be hardworking and persistent when she learned how to edit her package with the news director, editing for about seven hours to tell a perfect story. Others in the Mass Communication department have recognized her good work ethic, including her boss, Media Instructor Shur Gopal.
"Journie has been very diligent, very sincere in whatever she has done. I noticed that when she came into my media technology class and I was very impressed with her," Gopal said.
As soon as she started her position, Crenshaw has been contributing greatly to the video practicum meetings on tuesdays. She has even had some hard conversations with her staff, and as her coworker Broadcast Media major Harley Watkins says, "she's not afraid to step on some toes." Crenshaw has been
able to find a balance of playing the good and bad cop though, as when she asks her staff to step up, she also thanks them for the work they have done so far.
Learning and leading at the same time helps Crenshaw to connect better with those in the practicum, as she is just rising above the level of the staff. This is her first semester technically in Vision TV staff, and she is already paving her way as a leader, connecting with her directors. "I'm so glad I'm getting to make those connections for the future so people can make those connections with me," Crenshaw added.
For Crenshaw, the position is about more than Monday meetings, Tuesday practicum and weekly video shoots. It’s a ministry.
One of her responsibilities includes planning staff bonding events, and Crenshaw went all out for Vision TV's first movie night. Some of the staff and a few of their close friends gathered together to watch Pitch Perfect in the mac lab one Thursday night. Crenshaw spent the whole day preparing and decked a table out in the department with a yellow tablecloth, an old-fashioned popcorn maker, individually wrapped candies and sodas for her staff to enjoy. She involved the other directors by asking them to donate sodas before the event, but she took on most of the snacks and refreshments herself.
The movie night was a successful time for the staff to grow closer together without worrying about producing a video. Crenshaw naturally brings people together with her welcoming personality. Before asking someone if they've completed a video or an assignment, she always takes the time to ask people how they are doing, because she truly cares about her staff and friends.
Crenshaw recognizes the time commitment she has made with Vision TV, but looks forward to an exciting future, "everyday I'm working on it somehow. It's only going to become more as I get involved more."