If you told little freshman me I would be producing OU Nightly after two years of being in the program, I would have told you that you were crazy and that there was no way I could do that so soon. I knew I had to start at the bottom when I first came to OU and joined the Nightly team.
When I enrolled, I had spent the last four years working for my high school's daily live broadcast, which actually wasn't too shabby for our little town. We were extremely blessed with the funding and opportunity to create a large-scale broadcast that would go on to win multiple awards every year. As graduation approached, I had my eyes set on the very best: the University of Oklahoma.
I toured the school before applying and immediately fell in love with Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication...or just Gaylord if you prefer. I spent the first semester of my freshman year getting to know my surroundings and routine before I knew what was missing in my life. I missed broadcast journalism. So, I quickly applied to work on the crew for OU Nightly in the spring. I was lucky to get a spot, considering the semester was well underway, but my faculty advisor was gracious enough to give me a chance. I quickly learned the equipment (it really wasn't all that different from high school) and still wanted more.
Camera OperatorMarita Morrow
The following semester, I applied to work on the editorial side of the broadcast while still remaining a crew member. I accepted the position of anchoring small clips that give a preview of our show, otherwise known as "news briefs" every Friday. I did this for a semester while learning a few other positions like producing a segment on the show called "News Center." At the end of that semester, I got the chance to anchor this segment.
While I really did enjoy anchoring, producing was my passion. I love to write scripts and organize segments, all while working with the anchors to make our broadcast the very best it can be. Thankfully, I got to expand these skills the following spring when I was chosen to produce not just a segment, but the whole broadcast on Thursdays. I also got to step up and anchor the show on Fridays.
Valentine's ShowOUN Crew
This was very exciting for me since I got to continue working on both of my passions. I had previous experience with anchoring and producing from high school, but this was a whole new ballgame. I had to learn new terminology, new software and I had to get my teammates on my side so they trusted me to make the decisions for the show each week. I confided a lot in my Senior Producer and my Executive Producer above me. I also had to make sure my editorial crew felt valued and listened to, which was something I struggled with as a producer in high school.
I did eventually get into the swing of things, and I loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, COVID cut my time as a producer in half this past spring. We did, however, learn how to take OU Nightly completely online through a remote broadcast completely organized by students. That was definitely something unique I never thought I would have the chance to do. Because of this, my fellow producers and I have been asked to return in the fall and continue in the roles we held last year. Of course we've accepted.
I have been very fortunate with the opportunities presented to me over the years. I truly did not think that I would be where I am today...at least not this soon. I am so thankful for those that have helped me along the way, including those who pushed me to my full potential. I love producing, and I cannot wait to get into the newsroom to start working on this semester's broadcast.
Last Spring BroadcastMorgan Owens