Jack Wascher is getting a head start on his career, and he’s doing it with professional experience as a Friday night football reporter at KOMU. He, like many students at Mizzou, came here for the world-renowned journalism program that uses hands on learning to produce great journalists, and found a tremendous opportunity in KOMU.
KOMU-TV8 has been using the “Missouri Method” to teach students for over 41 years, employing students as reporters, photojournalists and producers. The commercial television station is owned by the university and is also an NBC Affiliate, the only one of its kind. Aspiring journalists gain real-life experience working in KOMU’s newsroom, and KOMU’s training is excellent preparation for future television journalists.
“I’d heard about KOMU before I came to Mizzou, but didn’t join my first semester, until one of my fraternity brothers turned me on to it,” Wascher said.
Wascher, a sophomore from Chicago, reports on high school football in central Missouri for KOMU. At KOMU students are able to work in a real-world setting with professionals who take teaching beyond the classroom.
“All the professionals who work at KOMU act as teachers,” Wascher said. “They’re really good at what they do.”
Wascher decided to get involved with KOMU’s Friday Night Fever, the weekly high school sports show, at the suggestion of another fraternity brother. He plans on pursuing sports journalism as a career in the future.
“It looks really good if you want to start covering sports,” said Wascher.
For any student looking to get involved with experience early, KOMU offers many opportunities. KOMU News Director Stacey Woefel emails a list of students with information on job openings in the KOMU newsroom, reports on how the latest broadcast went and information on any journalism speakers coming to the university.
“If you’re there early on, people know who you are. By the time you’re in the J-School, a lot of people you work with are your teachers, and it helps to know them,” said Wascher.
As most of us at the J-School know, journalism is a competitive field and real-world experience is practically a must for prospective journalists. KOMU provides a great opportunity for on the job experience, and challenges its students. Every Friday night is dedicated to Friday night football on KOMU from 10-10:30, and most of Wascher’s stories can be seen on KOMU.com following the games.
“The hardest part about what I do is figuring out what angle to take on each football team,” says Wascher.
Wascher uses resources like KOMU’s high school football preview telecast and students at MU who have ties to local high schools to prepare a story. Student journalists gain an advantage on their stories thanks to the vast amount of people and opinions available to them in college.
Wascher’s early success as a sophomore reporter will be useful in his application to Mizzou’s J-School and in the future. Experience in newsrooms like KOMU helps separate him from the thousands of other journalism majors applying there. Smart students are always looking to get involved on campus, and not many organizations around CoMo provide quite as much real-world knowledge as KOMU.