Written by: Frank Canizares
The School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) launched its new student-led show, Ignite, this past Friday, Feb. 12. The 15-minute weekly talk show discusses issues and solutions relevant to Southern’s student community. SJC Professor Pablo Fernandez supervises the production.
“At the moment, there is a [Southern] newspaper, a radio station, a podcast and a few social media accounts on campus, but there is not a SAU TV show,” Fernandez said. “This is an opportunity to not only offer a much needed entertainment medium to our community, but also to develop a stronger connection between the SJC and the student body.”
The show is produced and managed by the SJC. Mass communication and broadcast journalism majors are involved and responsible for the creative process. Aaron Patterson, sophomore mass communication — media production major, and Sarah Manuel, sophomore mass communication – advertising major, are the show’s hosts.
What started as a digital media class end-of-the-year project led to the birth of Ignite — a show that aims to create conversations and keep students informed. Patterson said one of the purposes of the show is to draw high school students to Southern.
“The overarching goal is to keep students informed [about] what is going on while keeping them entertained,” Patterson said. “Eventually, we would like to attract students from high schools in our local community, as well as Adventist high schools in other states to SAU through the excitement and novelty of Ignite.”
Manuel discovered her passion for video creation in 2017, which led her to create a YouTube channel. She said when Fernandez approached her with an idea about producing a student-led show, she was excited.
“When Professor Pablo came up to me and pitched the idea of producing a student-led program coming out of our very own journalism department, I was ecstatic,” Manuel said.
Patterson fell in love with media during his senior year of high school, when he and a friend created a YouTube channel and a TikTok account. His TikTok account, @aaroncpatterson, now has over 200,000 followers.
Manuel and Patterson are excited to bring their passions in media to life with a show that represents the values and principles of Southern as a whole.
“The goal of Ignite is to talk about the topics most people feel generally uncomfortable talking about,” Manuel said.
Patterson said the show will address sensitive topics in Adventism and Christianity.
“We will be talking about the LGBTQ+ community, difficult questions in both Adventism and Christianity, racism, a Q&A session with a police officer about police brutality, and many more conversations and testimonials with students from our very own SAU,” Patterson said.
When asked about Ignite, Lexi Benardo, a senior mass communication major and one of the show’s associate producers, said a student-led production is beneficial.
“I think having a student-led show helps the audience connect more,” Benardo said. “Another exciting thing is the fact that Ignite [will] showcase students as guests and participants. That in itself would want to make you tune in to see your friends on the show adding more audience and more connections.”
The process of producing the show included things such as laying the groundwork and figuring out graphics, according to Bernardo, who described it as a “blessing.”
“I think the biggest thing is that God has been answering a lot of prayers,” Bernardo said. “We have all these goals and desires, and He is just really coming through. I’m hoping it [will] be a blessing for the students as well as for Southern in general.”
The show’s intended audience is Southern students, but it does not exclude the Collegedale community and other college-aged viewers that might benefit from the conversations.
SJC Productions started releasing Ignite on YouTube @School of Journalism and Communication as a main-platform and IGTV as a sub-platform. Snippets will eventually be uploaded to the TikTok account, @saujournalism. If students want to be a part of the show as talent, video or audio producers, feature or prop crew, they can reach out to @ignitesau.