SHU student presents at Cambridge college radio conference

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Seton Hall University senior and WSOU 89.5 FM news director Robert Towey co-led a hands-on workshop at the Alternatives 2019 International Student Radio Conference, hosted at the University of Cambridge in England, from Aug. 14 to 16. Towey, who was personally invited by the conference to participate as an instructor, was the only college student to teach a workshop at this worldwide gathering. All other workshops were led by faculty members and industry professionals.

Titled “Going Beyond: The Art of the Interview,” this practical workshop explored strategies and ideas on how to get the best radio interviews in a variety of circumstances. The session included field work in the city of Cambridge, England, as well as collaborative projects. Towey drew on his experiences as an award-winning journalist and the dozens of news, sports and music interviews he has done for WSOU. Joining Towey in facilitating the workshop was Lance Liguez, president of College Radio Day and faculty adviser to at the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to speak at the Alternatives 2019 conference at the University of Cambridge, an event that will host an audience of radio educators and students from across the globe,” Towey said prior to the conference. “Many people are intimidated by the prospect of interviewing someone, but the right preparation and approach allows anyone to conduct a great interview.”

For his workshop, Towey discussed choosing the right questions to ask, the best ways to draw out meaningful and evocative responses from the interviewee, the importance of listening carefully while conducting an interview and more. Liguez spoke to participants about recording techniques and properly using audio gear to tape interviews.

“In addition to the classroom presentation, we will allow participants to employ our advice right away, as the workshop features an hour-long practice interview session where my co-presenter and I will be taking the audience into the streets of Cambridge,” Towey said. “The students will conduct sample interviews with members of the community to hear their thoughts on the United Kingdom’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson. I am proud that my work at WSOU has given me the platform and background to teach this workshop and help others become better storytellers. It is a privilege to represent both WSOU and Seton Hall at Alternatives 2019.”

“This is a real honor for Bob, WSOU and Seton Hall University,” WSOU general manager Mark Maben said. “While some students at Alternatives 2019 are presenting or participating on panels, Bob is the only student who is doing actual teaching and instruction to create a hands-on learning experience for attendees. That the conference organizers considered a Seton Hall student up to this task speaks to the quality of professional development WSOU and the College of Communication and the Arts provides.” 

Photos Courtesy of Mark Maben