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Best of the Broadcasting Crop: Randy Gyllenhaal prepares for life after Elon

April 7, 2010
Randy Gyllenhaal

Randy Gyllenhaal

Senior Randy Gyllenhaal dove right into Phoenix14 his freshman year, was anchor his sophomore year and won a Hearst Journalism Award his junior year. As a broadcast journalism major and international studies minor, Gyllenhaal spends a good amount of time in the edit suites of McEwen. But the sacrifice has paid off for him.

Gyllenhaal took first place in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s National Television Broadcast News Championship in 2009. He earned third place in hard news, which sent him to the championship round in San Francisco where he competed in a day-of story.

“It was an economics story about the fishing industry in San Francisco, so I wanted to see how the fishermen on the boats were doing and how that impacted restaurants up the chain,” he said. “So, if consumers weren’t eating, that would hurt everybody along the chain. I just talked to everybody in San Francisco I could find – some people on a boat, some people in a restaurant, and I thought it was a pretty compelling story. It had some good images and obviously the judges were impressed, too.”

Gyllenhaal said he has been so focused on journalism during his time at Elon that it has become his main hobby.

“My hobby now is shooting video,” he said. “It wasn’t before. I used to play sports and play guitar. I’ve gotten into just shooting recreational video like documentaries or music videos. That’s kind of fun for me.”

Even though his hobby is in his major, Gyllenhaal said it allows him to escape from pure news reporting for a bit.

Gyllenhaal said he has learned the most from his experiences beyond the classroom. Elon has let him grow by himself through doing hands-on work with Phoenix14 and through internships. He interned at ABC World News with Charlie Gibson the summer after his sophomore year, and FOX 5 in Washington, D.C., the summer after his junior year.

For the next six months, Gyllenhaal plans to focus on himself, hunt for a solid job in broadcast journalism and avoid having to live in the dreaded cardboard box that looms in the back of seniors’ minds. After that, he hopes to give back to Elon both financially and by giving of his time to students who want advice.

Phoenix14 especially has a strong alumni base, Gyllenhaal said, and he keeps in touch with a lot of them through e-mail and facebook.

“It’s a really good networking vineyard for us to be able to just go back and forth with each other and get internships and jobs from each other,” he said.

Gyllenhaal will join that vineyard May 22, 2010.

Read more about Randy Gyllenhaal:

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