ICTV and WICB Team Up To Cover Local Mayoral Race
First person account by Andrew Buraczenski '12
The Park School allows students to get involved with the media organizations right from day one. At first, I dabbled in the vast opportunities, but later decided to focus on WICB, the campus radio station.
My friend James Heasley was involved with ICTV since our freshman year. While we have exchanged our fair share of jokes about the other’s organization, we have both respected the hard work we put in. That hard work eventually landed us each in leadership roles: myself as the Promotions Director of WICB and James as the Director of Programming at ICTV. Prior to assuming these roles, James and I realized that there was a mutual feeling of disconnect between our two organizations. Radio did radio, and television did television. The groups only crossed paths during annual games of dodge ball and softball as well as during the end-of-the-year awards ceremony. Being the newest in a long line of student leaders in the Park School, James and I decided that some changes needed to be made.
One day during our semester in Los Angeles, James approached me with the idea of having WICB and ICTV collaborate on a newly-created show called ICTV Special Projects. He realized that in the 2011 elections, Ithaca would be getting a new mayor, but would first have to go through a democratic primary. This was very interesting to me because it’s rare to see more than one, nonetheless three candidates from the same party running for office in a city as small as Ithaca. After some conversations here and there, we eventually decided that we would like to produce a debate prior to the primary election in September. The debate would be simulcast on WICB and ICTV, finally bringing together two of the student media cousins in the Park School.
James and I spent most of the summer of 2011 hammering out general concepts for the debate and started fine-tuning everything upon our return to campus. A production of this scale required extra preparation because it’s not everyday that the Park School opens its doors to local politicians. Prior to the event, there were a lot of sessions in which the producers and our moderator would sit down and negotiate different topics and the questions for the candidates that would be included in those topics. We spent a lot of time watching the 2008 presidential debates and in the end, we decided on a format, topics and questions that met our needs.
Although there was no real winner in the debate, our crew sure felt like we had won something. In addition to boosting our confidence in our ability to produce media, we had won the affection of three local politicians, one of whom would go on to win in November and is the mayor for the City of Ithaca.
Working on this debate showed my fellow students and I how limitless our opportunities are in the Park School. With the encouragement of faculty and staff, we were able to produce a piece of media that informed the community, bettered our understanding of political campaigns and opened the door for future collaborations between ICTV and WICB.