by Kenneth R. Erdey
Three weeks ago, my class was looking forward to their final projects. We had been researching themes and trying to start making contact with their potential sources. Two weeks ago, there were rumblings of classes moving online. At least for the first week after Spring break. Then March 12, our world turned upside down.
I teach the studio production class for Good Morning, Illini. I also advise my three producers on Illini Sports Night. Both have unique circumstances that really made me question not only what my class was going to do, but how was I going to change how I taught. I would not be lying if I didn’t say I went through the 12 stages of grief.
At first, I was so locked on what we were going to do, and really not seeing an alternative. I looked through responses from Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Facebook group members pondering the same question. Right when I felt like I would have to revert to critiques and watching newscasts, I came across a video from Italy.
This video was inspiring in a lot of ways. Watching these people from the other side of the world, sharing their experiences, fears, and thoughts, I decided my students could do the same. I have created this page, so we may share the Illinois Story of COVID-19. As I said before, our world turned upside down. We have no studio to return to. The direction of returning home has been given by the University. This is new, not only to my students and me but also for you, our viewers.
Good Morning Illini, for the time being, will be clip-based. Our stories will continue to show what we have in the history of our show. Which includes some light-hearted, humor-filled content at times. I know I need it, just as much as new information on COVID-19. The only difference that will be made on GMI is where we are telling stories from.
GMI will say good morning not just from Champaign-Urbana, but from places like Joliet, Bridgeview, Western Springs and Chicago. No matter where we are, one thing absolutely remains the same. Illinois Journalism students tell people’s stories, and right now this is the biggest story happening. I hope you follow them on this journey. We hope to help understand new information as it comes in and we look forward to the days, where all of us can once again call Champaign home. Our world has not ended. However, with its new direction, we are getting a much different view. Seems to me like there is a story there. Make it a Good Morning, Illini.
Kenneth R. Erdey
Advisor/Instructor Good Morning Illini & Illini Sports Night