ADP @ IU South Bend Partners with Local PBS Station to Create Live Weekly Public Affairs TV Show
Indiana University South Bend ADP Campus Director, Elizabeth Bennion, took over as host of a weekly public affairs program on WNIT-TV, the local PBS station broadcasting for over three dozen Indiana and Michigan counties. The program called “Politically Speaking,” airs live each Sunday and re-airs each Monday during the academic year. Bennion starts each program with the words, “I’m Elizabeth Bennion of the IU South Bend American Democracy Project” and ends with the words, “Until next time, stay engaged!” Bennion sees her work on the TV show as a way to further the civic education and engagement mission of the American Democracy Project, increasing the visibility of the Project and strengthen partnerships with the local community.
Bennion also created an undergraduate seminar called “Politically Speaking” so that students can get involved in the production. Students submit and discuss weekly episode reviews, sharing suggestions for how to improve the show. They also submit weekly “episode preparation” assignments, tracking legislation, researching policy issues, and suggesting questions for each week’s guests. In addition, students take turns in the studio screening calls or running the stationary camera. Most students also created “citizen videos” featuring ordinary people responding to questions about their views on current policy debates. Topics this spring included: inauguration politics, immigration, gun violence, school safety, education reform, women in politics, incarceration/re-entry, minor parties, local politics (“Meet the Mayors”), and updates on the Michigan and Indiana state legislatures. This year’s students were even featured on screen during a special episode highlighting student views on politics!
This collaboration combines teaching, research, and service to produce a valuable product promoting civic education and engagement throughout the Michiana region. The TV station, university, students, host, and community at-large all benefit from this win-win collaboration!
Want to learn more? Check out past episodes online www.wnit.org/politicallyspeaking or “like” the program on Facebook www.facebook.com/WNITPoliticallySpeaking to get regular updates and join the conversation! Check it out, then contact Professor Bennion to discuss how to propose a similar program in your community!
WNIT Politically Speaking Website: www.wnit.org/politicallyspeaking
WNIT Politically Speaking Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WNITPoliticallySpeaking
You’ll also find more information in this PDF: ADP on TV Handout