Seniors Ryan Kelly Murphy and Genevieve Suchyta jockey against other finalists to win first place for radio submissions to College Broadcasters, Incorporated.
They were the first Hillsdale students to submit radio pieces to and be nominated as finalists in the CBI, for the Audio Newscast and Public Affairs Documentary categories respectively. In October, Murphy and Suchyta will travel to a convention in Seattle, where CBI will announce a winner from among the four finalists in each category.
Murphy became involved with Radio Free Hillsdale during her freshman year, when the program was first starting up. She now spends most of her time on the airwaves as one of Radio Free Hillsdale’s news anchors, broadcasting national, local, and state news, as well as sports and weather. She decided to submit a recording of one of her casts at the request of Radio Station Manager Scot Bertram.
“Newscasting is great because you can get your hands in so many areas of radio. You put together the script, record it, edit and produce it to be ready to air,” Murphy said. “What I focus on is speaking clearly, enunciating, and using my tone to bring the story to life and help the audience to recognize its biggest takeaway.”
Murphy said she was shocked and proud to be chosen as a finalist.
“It is not just my award or my achievement; it is because of this station as a whole, and the people who are involved are so invested, and we are learning alongside each other,” she said. “I am excited to see what the station does in the future, and I am hoping this is the first of many awards.”
Suchyta has also been involved with Radio Free Hillsdale since its inception. Over the years, her interests have shifted from straight news pieces to investigative pieces. She submitted “A Problem of Pain,” her documentary on the opioid epidemic. She investigated the issue thoroughly by interviewing a local anesthesiologist, the Hillsdale County Sheriff, State Sen. Mike Shirkey, and College Director of Health and Wellness Brock Lutz, before she began her creative process.
“I tried and get as many possible perspectives on this issue: the medical perspective of treating pain, the psychological perspective of treating addiction, the law-and-order perspective of controlling crime, and the legislative perspective of trying to preserve communities,” Suchyta said. “The complexity really makes it interesting in creating it, as well as in listening to it.”
Throughout the documentary, Suchyta explores the realities of addiction, “pill mills,” the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies, and possible solutions to this problem.
Whether or not Suchyta and Murphy are selected as winners among the finalists at the CBI convention in Seattle, Bertram expressed his pride that their young program produced such successful students. He said he has high hopes for Radio Free Hillsdale’s growth in the future.
“When I see the other winners, I know that they are the top college radio stations in the country, so to have our students in that little club with the station being so new is quite the accomplishment,” Bertram said. “People outside looking at those lists don’t even know Hillsdale had a radio station. We do and we are new, but I think we are already pretty good.”