What we know. Whom we vote for. How we perceive others. All of this is influenced by the media, which is why the forward-thinking NYU student body is learning how media—in all of its myriad forms—works. Media outlets at NYU are a hotbed for freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas, and are the training grounds at which students learn how to communicate in truthful and impactful ways. In fact, no matter where students’ strengths or interests lie, there’s a way for them to participate.
NYU’s TV channels often feature student-made work. Whether you want to research and film a documentary or direct and act in a short movie, you can film at NYU-TV’s versatile studio and find a way to share your work with your classmates. But that’s not all: You can practice spontaneous interviewing skills while filming live news segments. Build graphic design skills by creating ad spots for upcoming events. Learn the technical aspects of video production—and get the best seat in the house—while filming guest lecturers like journalist and NYU Distinguished Writer in Residence Ta-Nehisi Coates and special events like UltraViolet Live, NYU’s annual talent show.
For Nat Roberts, a Film and Television major at the Tisch School of the Arts, working as a student editor at NYU-TV has been a valuable way to put theory into practice. “My main job is to edit videos for our two cable channels and NYU’s social media pages, and I also get to live-edit events when we stream them,” he says. “I’ve honed my technical skills and learned so much from mentors on the full-time staff. I also have plenty of opportunities to get creative and develop my personal editing style. No matter which area we are working in, we all get a chance to get out in the field and learn on the job.”
Whether they work for Washington Square News in New York City, the Gazelle in Abu Dhabi, or On Century Avenue in Shanghai, NYU student journalists gain press access to events like New York Fashion Week and sessions with political leaders like David Cameron, the former British prime minister, and Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France. But NYU’s newspapers, much like the New York Times and the Washington Post, are also an exercise in freedom of expression and truth-finding.
That’s why prelaw students find satisfaction covering topics like the First Amendment rights of immigrants and writing opinion pieces on gun safety legislation. “There’s also a ton of work beyond writing articles,” says Economics major Allison Chesky, the editor in chief of NYU Shanghai’s On Century Avenue. “We need art and photography to go alongside the articles, website design and upkeep, marketing, and business analytics. We need students with lots of different skills to get involved.”
For Hannah Taylor, the managing editor of NYU Abu Dhabi’s student newspaper, the Gazelle, and a Social Research and Public Policy major, writing articles showed her how powerful journalism can be in terms of influencing public opinion and policy. “I’ve worked on pieces about drug laws in the United Arab Emirates,” she explains, “and I realized that most people don’t see the scientific studies that I read as part of my course work. People rely on journalists to distill that information and help them understand it so they can form an educated opinion, which in turn influences what policies get made.”
WNYU is an award-winning radio station run entirely by students, which means it needs everyone from Business majors to policy wonks to help it keep operating. NYU Abu Dhabi has Howler Radio, which features shows like “Tea with Mr. T,” an hour-long program during which Mr. T sips tea (and promotes the Tea of the Week) and plays jazz, funk, hip-hop, and rhythm and blues music, and “Research Paper Radio,” which features everything from 1920s show tunes and 1980s synth-pop to international new wave and new indie releases.
NYU Shanghai also has a radio station, Century Radio, which features student-created podcasts with names like “Silk Road Adventure,” in which three NYU Shanghai sophomores detail their experiences in Western China, and “The First Speakeasy—A Journey Through Jazz,” which airs jazz favorites and explores the genre’s roots.
Can’t get enough of basketball? On a sports talk show like WNYU’s “The Cheap Seats,” you can dissect plays and discuss trade rumors. Added bonus: working on a sports talk show will look great on your résumé if you want to enter athletics-related fields like sports management. Students immersed in politics will find a home on the news shows, while the music programming ranges from K-pop to metal for every kind of musically inclined student. Being responsible for creating your own weekly program will impress future employers.
Keeping a radio station running also requires plenty of behind-the-scenes work. Rachel Gilman, the general manager of WNYU, says that the management team alone is made up of about 15 students. “We create the broadcast schedule and handle all the logistics of running the station. If we want to do something like host a concert, we’ll sit down with our business director and legal team to figure out how,” she says. “It’s a highly professional environment where you get to build so many skills. There’s something here for everyone.”
Lovers of art and literature can bring their editorial eye to magazines like Minetta Review and West 10th in New York City, Electra Street and Airport Road in Abu Dhabi, and The Hundred River Review and FEAST in Shanghai.
Budding scientist? How about creating an episode of “The STEMinist,” a weSTEM podcast series at NYU Abu Dhabi. Or showcase your research in Medical Dialogue Review, a New York City–based student magazine about all aspects of healthcare.