COVID transition brings national recognition to AU journalism program

Dec. 3—ANDERSON — After COVID-19 forced Anderson University's student newspaper online, they decided to take it in a different direction.

The publication's advisor, David Baird, said they decided on a multimedia approach.

The 75-year-old newspaper is now distributed online and more recently, via a newscast called the Andersonian Newscast.

In October, the newscast was awarded second place in a recent College Media Association contest, according to a blog post in the Andersonian.

"Getting the award was really an honor," said Mason Fridley, the anchor for the newscast. "We were really proud of it because of all the hard work we put into it."

Before there was a newscast, there was Raven Watch. Baird said Raven Watch is an AU-centered sports broadcast started by a journalism student who wanted broadcasting experience.

"We have a lot of very talented students who work on various aspects of the show," Baird said. "It gives them some good experience and portfolio material."

The newscast and sportscast operate as different segments of the same overall program.

An average program lasts only a few minutes, but filming could take a few hours, according to Fridley.

Baird said the program is small, but he's proud of the product and the attention it has received.

This is AU's first year with a full-fledged journalism major. However, journalism has been taught under different auspices for many years.

Some notable faces have passed through Anderson's program, including Herald Bulletin Editor Scott Underwood, Lindsay Stone from FOX 59, and Jordan Yaney from 14 News in Evansville.

The journalism program is housed alongside Public Relations, Cinema and Media Arts, and Visual Communication Design.

Baird, the department's chairman, will be retiring this year after more than 30 years. He said he will assist on a part-time basis, but will not be a full-time professor.

Follow Caleb Amick on Twitter @AmickCaleb. Contact him at or 765-648-4254.