Campus Insights, a weekly television program by and for Cornell students, was founded in the Spring of 1995. Airing on Ch. 13 on Wednesday evenings at 9:30 p.m., the show is a full half-hour of live programming that’s entirely commercial free. With reruns airing Friday at 6:00 p.m. and again Sunday night at 10:30 p.m., Campus Insights works to bring Cornell related issues into the public eye. Though the show was originally a news-oriented program that encouraged and showcased debates and discussion, it has, over the past seven years, expanded it’s scope. With segments like “Man on the Street” which puts a reporter in various locations talking to passers-by, Campus Insights has become a great resource for those interested in a news show that also covers entertainment, fashion, and a lot more.
I recently sat down with the show’s Producer, Jennie Nolon ’03, a Communications major to talk about the show.
Daze: When do you guys go back on the air?
Jennie Nolon: Our first show is next Wednesday, the 26th.
Daze: Is Campus Inshights a Cornell Club?
JN: Yeah, but we’re very independent. We are funded through the SAFC, so we are registered with Cornell. We have a faculty advisor — professor Shanahan from the Communications department but other than the fact that we’re comprised of Cornell Students, we’re not involved with the University. We run our show out of the public access studio in downtown Ithaca. We run our meetings without the faculty advisor. We have free reign. We do whatever we want with the format of the show. If somebody comes in with an idea, we have the power to change the whole show. When we started out, it was a very news oriented show. But now, it’s a lot more layed back, it’s a lot of fun.
Daze: What’s your role on the show?
JN: I was the producer for a semester while our old producer was abroad last year. During that time, we re-formatted the show so that instead of having just one host and then a guest and maybe a segment, it’d be a little bit more like — obviously not as funny — but more like The Daily Show. We would have one host behind a desk and then we’d have a lot of correspondents come in and every correspondent got maybe five minutes. That was a new idea that our director Julie Feldman and I worked on … Now we have entertainment correspondents, a sports correspondent, a weather person, a fashion correspondent.
Daze: Where do you get your correspondents from?
JN: Any member of Campus Insights can do anything they want to on the show. They can do on air or off air. At our meetings, I’ll ask for volunteers for different segments. Sometimes we’ll have certain segments but not others because nobody wanted to do a segment and decided to do something else. Sometimes we’ll have to make a taped segment longer because we didn’t have as many correspondents. We’ll have different guests depending on the theme of the show.
Daze: Are there a lot of Communications majors at Campus Insights?
JN: Most of the members of Campus Insights are Communications Majors because I guess word gets around, but we don’t discriminate [laughs].
Daze: How late can people join the show?
JN: You can join at any time. Our meetings are at the same place each weekend: Sundays at 3:00 p.m. in 156 Goldwin Smith.
Daze: Is that where you lay out the content for the show?
JN: Yeah, we usually plan the upcoming show and the next show, so we talk about two shows at every meeting. People will come up with ideas and themes and we’ll start taping segments a week or a week and a half in advance.
Daze: Without giving too much away, can you give us any hints on what’s coming up this semester?
JN: We’ve only had one meeting so far, last Sunday, and we started talking about our first show. We’re going to do a welcome back show and have some freshmen on. We’ll have one of our top ten lists. We’d like to keep it humorous. Usually, we’d like to come up with a fall sports show and a music show.
Daze: What kind of feedback do you get from students?
JN: When I started on the show as a Freshman, we weren’t really recognized because the show was more news oriented. I don’t think we had as big of an audience … I think there’s a good response. Most people watch the show because they know somebody who is on the show, or know somebody involved and they’ll start watching. We have a member who’s assigned to be publicist, so we do advertise …
Daze: Are you excited about your first show?
JN: Yeah, I’m really excited.
There will be eight episodes of Campus Insights this semester. The first one airs Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. on channel 13.
Archived article by Nate Brown