Hi, I’m Alexander Shapinsky from NPR Illinois Podcamp. Scott Faingold is the new Student Media Director at UIS, and the Editor in Chief of the Activator magazine in Springfield, IL.
“I’ve recently, as of this past October, took the position of Director of Student Media, here at the University of Illinois-Springfield, which means that I'm the advisor to The Journal, the student-run newspaper, and I am also reviving the student radio station, Star 96.”
Scott also talked about some previous jobs he had before he was the Director of Student Media.
“I did work for the Illinois Times for a staff writer, I had originally been a freelance writer, which means that I only got paid per story. I didn’t have an actual job at the paper, but they would call me for particular stories they thought I could write about well.”
Scott would eventually become a full time employee at the Illinois Times, but this wasn’t his only job.
“I was also teaching just one class, a required class, called Oral Communication here at UIS for several years while I was also working at the newspaper so it was really good to become the Director of Student Media because it was a way of combining the two career paths.”
Transitioning to the academic side of journalism is not always easy.
“There used to be two different jobs, they combined them, I am the first person to have both of those jobs at the same time, working for the newspaper, advising the newspaper, and advising the radio station.”
It’s a tough job, but he’s up for the experience.
“And the challenge for me is that both of the people who came before me in those jobs had both retired more than a year before I came and they hired me, so, usually when someone is hired for a new job, there is someone to train them, to show them how it’s done.”
It can be a lonely process.
“I’m kind of having to figure a lot of it out on my own, which makes it so that I have a certain amount of freedom, but there’s a certain amount of challenge, too.”
Scott has big ideas for the future of student media on the UIS campus.
“I want to set up a new area, a physical area called the Student Media Center where the radio and newspaper and any other media would all kind of be in a centralized location.”
Scott’s motivation behind this idea is to help bring people together.
“The people who work at it can work with each other, meet each other, hang out, and work on media and come up with new ideas that might combine the different media, so I want to do that here in the WUIS building, but it’s a slow process.”
I asked him what that entailed.
“In addition to getting the radio so that it’s functioning again, and working with the student employees at The Journal, which is basically helping them to try to make the paper as good as it can be, but not really doing any editing or writing myself, I’m just there as a resource to help them.”
He’s giving students real-world journalistic experience that will hopefully help them after they graduate... For NPR Illinois Podcamp, I am Alexander Shapinsky.