Writing for a Change

By Daniel Bestul, Jordon Lawrenz, Greg Bintz, & Zach Glander


All semester long, students in Professor Joseph Yoo’s Media Workshop class have presented and written stories for The COMM Voice, UWGB’s “student voice” of the communication department. Each week, students would pitch two story ideas, create questions for the story selected, and write two drafts (one rough, one final). Every group had to think critically, which led to active discussions in class.

Joseph Yoo works on pitches for the Media Workshop class. Photo Credit: Daniel Bestul

“I can listen to what students are thinking and what they are interested in,” said Yoo. “It’s a great chance to introduce important events and issues around campus and the community. The goal is to broaden students’ perspectives.”

Yoo, who arrived at UWGB for the Fall 2019 semester, first taught Media Workshop in 2020. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging the globe, so the class transitioned from in-person to online.

“During COVID, some students were reluctant to meet in person, which I completely understand,” said Yoo. “However, I believe good stories should be based on the people.”

One story stood out for student Austin Moehn, a junior majoring in Communication.

“Our story on the hiring of new UWGB head basketball coach Sundance Wicks [was our favorite],” Moehn said. “I was able to go to his introductory press conference and speak with Athletic Director Josh Moon. Moon also introduced me to Sundance Wicks, which was a great opportunity.”

Moehn is part of the CADT Crew alongside Caleb Miller, Dylan Schmidt, and Travis Leiterman. CADT Crew loved their stories throughout the semester, but there’s one they wish they would’ve had a chance to write, “We pitched a story about the snow removal on campus as this winter was terrible for that, and I wanted to get a more investigative story. We didn’t end up writing about it, but we really wish we could have.” Moehn said.

Team CADT Crew poses for a group photo on the final day of Media Workshop. Photo Credit: Daniel Bestul

Team chokeSLAM (Sarah Hart, Lauren Knisbeck, Alison Giblin, and Morgan Andrews) took pride in their work throughout the spring semester. Morgan Andrews took Media Workshop I last semester, but this was Alison Giblin’s first time taking the course. Giblin mentioned, “I learned new skills in writing. Writing a news story is far different than anything I have ever written in the rest of my COMM classes, and I’m very excited to move forward with these skills.”

“My favorite person I interviewed this semester was Phil Clampitt,” Giblin added. “He always has the most interesting answers to any question, and no matter where he is in the world, he always prioritizes his student’s success.”

Lauren Knisbeck and Sarah are typing out Team chokeSLAM’s final story with Morgan Andrews and Alison Giblin pictured behind them. Photo Credit: Daniel Bestul

One of the other teams in Media Workshop was IGAR (Iris Shipley, Grace Prust, Ashley Harrison, and Rianna Jones). Iris Shipley shouted out another group in the class for having one of the best stories of the semester, “I thought the Estuary pitch and story by Pretty Epic Bros was one of the most intriguing to me this semester. I didn’t know anything about it before the pitch, and I thought it sounded like an important project that the university is doing.”

IGAR takes a break from their final story to be pictured for The COMM Voice. Photo Credit: Daniel Bestul

Focusing more on her own group, Shipley also commented on her favorite person to interview throughout the semester, “Christine Medrano [a professional comedian who performed on campus] was my favorite person to interview. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now, so it was really cool to interview her and find her opinion about UWGB. She was really easy to interview and gave great, involved answers.”

Yoo is always looking to improve his classes, and in the fall, students who take his Media Workshop class will be expected to do fewer stories but go more in-depth with their work. Instead of writing eight articles, students will create six stories. Yoo wants students to craft more polished work that will take nearly two and a half weeks per assignment after colleagues, and Yoo review their work. Yoo also intends to incorporate more discussions.

At the end of the day, everyone in Joseph Yoo’s Media Workshop class had a role. Each team found different stories to write and different people to interview, contributing to a wide variety of The COMM Voice. Every story written in class can be viewed at https://thecommvoice.com.

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