Back in October 1992, Eagle Eye TV (EETV) came to Auburn's campus as a division of University Program Council. Now, EETV is the only student-run college television station in the state and viewed as a legitimate source for Auburn news. (see right, Source: Eagle Eye)
EETV became the 10th Student Activity Project for Auburn. EETV's studio has a production studio, six editing bays, a control room, and is located in the Student Center. EETV's budget is funded by the Student Activity Project board and this allows for exponential growth and to utilize necessary equipment purchases to ensure the best possible experience for the viewers.
I was able to sit down with Brandon Etheredge, current station manager, and Karah Rhodes, current entertainment director and Wake Up Auburn producer. I asked them each five questions that I feel like would show how much EETV means for the students no matter that is from the past, present or future endeavors.
Kate - What is your favorite thing about being apart of EETV?
Brandon - My favorite thing about being involved at EETV is the incredible opportunity it gives students. Only two colleges in the SEC have programs that allow students as much freedom as ours does. EETV is a place to learn, grow, and make mistakes that ready you for a future in the TV Business. It is also an incredible place to make lifelong friends! My Fiancé and all of the groomsmen in my wedding I met at EETV. It is a special place. (see left, Source: Eagle Eye)
Karah - I enjoy being around driven people who continually push and support me to take risks and see what I am capable of. EETV is a learning lab filled with compelling, super motivated individuals that are working toward similar dreams of my own. In working alongside one another, these people have become both dependable co-workers and some of my closest friends that I will call on long after my EETV days come to an end.
Kate - What do you think you have gained from your position at EETV?
Brandon - I have gained so much from being part of EETV, I am actually struggling to put this into words. I can say with complete and total certainty that I would not be in this business or as successful as I have been without EETV. The ability to jump in feet first on day one gave me the ability to make those rookie mistakes early, whereas most people aren't working through those until their junior or senior year. The TV business is all about experience and EETV gave me the hands-on experience that you need to make it in this business.
Karah - I have gained invaluable, "real world" experience as a result of working closely with EETV. As an aspiring journalist today, I've learned it's vital to have knowledge and experience in a wide range of media. From being live on camera to producing a show and working behind the scenes, I've gotten to try and learn new things that have aided in cultivating a deeper understanding of media and what it takes to be successful in this field.
Kate - How you think EETV has developed since it began? Do you think things have gotten better or worst?
Brandon - Like any organization, Eagle Eye has had its golden ages and its dark ages. I would say that right now, EETV is in one of the best places it has ever been. Students are recognizing the organization as a legitimate source for news in our area. We are also now able to offer more than just TV experience to people. We now offer hands-on training in Video Production, Graphic design, news, digital writing sports, and entertainment.
Karah - Eagle Eye has developed in the name that it has earned for itself. From the thousands of views on social media to the immediate recognition of EETV's logo, students on campus know what Eagle Eye is - and that is not by coincidence. Over the years, long before me, EETV began building credibility that only continues to grow as the years build. As a student-run station, the credibility built is a reflection of those who run it. It's thanks to the students and the advisers who oversee our success that EETV is where it is today!
Kate - Has EETV shown your strengths and weaknesses?
Brandon - EETV has definitely brought out my strengths and weaknesses. I think my strength in leadership has been tested and refined during my time here. Running a TV station is a very complex and exciting job. I have the incredible opportunity to lead a diverse team with varying talents and abilities; this is the most stressful but also the most rewarding part of my job. It has also shown some of my weaknesses. I have been forced to rely on others, especially in the creative area for decisions that I am not as well equipped to make as they are. This has been interesting but is much better because of it.
Karah - EETV has pointed out my weaknesses by combatting them with my strengths. I joined EETV as a freshman last year never having touched a video camera or done really anything with media. The first time I ever anchored, I wore a green shirt in front of a green screen only to realize that I could not be seen! Talk about a newbie! With everything so new, my time at EETV has been a collection of moments of trial and error, overcoming obstacles and reaching gratifying success. I am continually faced with new challenges. Whether met with technological difficulties or not knowing an immediate answer to something, I am reminded that patience is key in this business. I find my strength is creativity. Whether interviewing someone or deciding what type of segment would look best in the next week's show, I am constantly drawing on creativity to guide my thought process.
Kate - What influenced you to join EETV?
Brandon - I first became interested in EETV during CWE. Someone gave me an EETV water bottle and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I joined for fun but halfway through my freshman year, it was my career. (see left, Source: Eagle Eye)
Karah - The summer before my freshman year, I had the opportunity to tour the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. That tour marked the beginning of this journey I find myself walking each day. Walking into EETV during the first interest meeting, the energy was captivating. Where I knew that I wanted to pursue journalism, from that first moment of meeting the EETV staff, I knew I had found a niche where I could channel creativity, immerse myself in an environment filled with constant buzz, and ultimately, make this dream of mine a living reality.
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