Have you heard of FMN (Findlay Media Network)? Even if you haven’t, you’ve likely received some of your University of Findlay news, education and entertainment from it.
FMN’s aim is to provide digital storytelling with more community collaboration. It is also fostering campus engagement activities by sponsoring events such as the recent Rock the Mock election.
Comprised of UFTV, The Pulse and WLFC, FMN is a rebranded venture that launched in spring 2016. Communication and journalism students and staff, realizing that operating autonomously wasn’t efficient or as effective, joined forces to streamline its coverage using the latest delivery methods.
Assisting UF’s student journalists and equipment operators are UFTV manager A.J. du Fresne, Pulse advisor Amy Rogan, assistant professor of communication; and Doug Jenkins, WLFC station advisor in the Department of Communication advisor.
UFTV’s new look includes segments such as traditional news shows that are anchored in the Egner Center for the Performing Arts studio by students using a desk and lights donated from WTOL TV in Toledo. The station also delivers documentaries, faculty lectures, research symposiums, sporting events and artistic performances, many of which are uploaded on the station’s YouTube channel. It provides some coverage of UF Oilers games, but would like to become the dominant media outlet for UF all athletics coverage, du Fresne said.
Fiscal Year 2015/2016 UFTV metrics:
- Added 64 YouTube subscribers
- Uploaded 327 videos that had 15,552 total views and 108,466 minutes of watch time
- Live streaming hours totaled 60,325
- Studio use hours totaled 622
The Pulse, UF’s award-winning campus newspaper, has upped its game with more investigative stories, 2016 election coverage and a streamlined opinion section that seeks to further conversation on various controversial and pop-culture topics.
WLFC 88.3 continues to be Northwest Ohio’s only radio station specializing in independent label rock. Tune into its daily broadcast to get your indie fix. It has redesigned its website too.
All FMN outlets also can be found on social media.
In the future, FMN hopes to expand its public information role by inviting the public to take part in the news dissemination process.
“The future strategy of FMN is to build a digital storytelling center to involve the community in TV, print and radio,” said A.J. du Fresne, UFTV manager. “We want to create spaces for transforming lives and communities through the acts of listing and sharing stories. This would be a community endeavor creating public workshops to support individuals in creating and sharing stories for FMN,” he explained.
Megan Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication, and Harley Ferris, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, have applied for endowed scholarships available to faculty this year for projects. The money would help launch a digital storytelling venture that would be modeled after that created by StoryCenter, a worldwide organization that gives voice to individuals and groups via multimedia. The project would be a separate component of FMN but would partner with UFTV to provide supplemental content. The idea has already garnered interest, and logistical and pedagogical support from UF’s Communications Department and the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing Program.
“We believe the work that could be created at a center that adopts this model would be of great service to the University and the community, because of the potential to strengthen bonds within both communities and to empower and connect students and citizens,” Adams wrote in the grant proposal.
Also on FMN’s wish list is to upgrade UFTV to high definition, a project that could cost up to six figures, but that would greatly benefit students by giving them a more competitive edge when they begin seeking jobs. The network is accepting donations. “Hopefully we can do some fundraising,” du Fresne said. Those interested in lending a fiscal hand can contact du Fresne at email@example.com and at 419-434-5909, or click here.