Student-run television broadcasting informs campus of current events

Margaret Peppiatt
Staff Writer

Are you looking for a reliable news source that covers a broad range of topics from a Catholic point of view? Franciscan Beat, a television news broadcasting group run by students at Franciscan University of Steubenville, shares a variety of news stories to inform students about current events.

The Beat broadcasts live four days a week on their YouTube channel, covering news that occurs on campus, locally, nationally and internationally. The broadcasting club often focuses on pro-life and Catholic news.

Sophomore Angelina Toole, series producer of the Beat, said the club tries to give all of its news from a Catholic perspective.

“We’ll include interviews with people on campus or fun stories highlighting events,” she said.

Founded about five years ago, the Beat consists of 15 members this semester. The team meets in the TV/news studio on ground floor of Egan Hall at 4 p.m. on weekdays when they produce an episode and “hit the ground running.”

“Everybody who is assigned that day has a specific role in the studio to help the production, whether it’s setting up and checking audio, setting up the livestreams so that the broadcasts can go to YouTube and then be posted there, or being an anchor,” Toole said.

After the group prays together, the Beat newscasts go live at 4:30 p.m. The process concludes when members take care of cleanup after the episode airs.

“We have some really talented young people,” Toole said. “This is an extracurricular. They’re not getting paid for it. They’re not getting anything in return. It is them wanting to use a talent that God gave them for the benefit of the student body.”

Members of the Beat express their creativity in different ways, said Toole. Some students report on a “controversial current news story that people are not sure what to make of,” while others interview people on campus and try “to highlight and bring out the good in their peers.”

Toole called the Beat “a very trusted source” and “unifying,” encouraging the student body to watch the Beat for those reasons.

The Beat has been through various changes since its founding several years ago, including multiple changes in leadership. Toole recalls times when it was just her as a freshman working in the studio with Evan Shoup, ‘21, who was heavily involved with the Beat in its early years.

“Beat is like a baby,” Toole explained. “Last semester, especially, we were learning to walk. And now, we are walking, and next semester I’m hoping for us to run.”

Toole said her vision for the future of the Beat is for everyone to have “the opportunity to really create something beautiful and bring a lot of fun and new ideas to the table.”

While the Beat requires a minimum participation level for every member, Toole emphasized that “Beat is whatever the individual will make of it.”

“Everybody is coming and participating in these meetings and putting out broadcasts,” Toole said. “But students then have the opportunity to say, ‘How can I make this more exciting? How can I make this something that more of my classmates will want to see?’”

Toole said the Beat has a great community since they work together multiple times every week. The Beat strives to cultivate faith-based relationships during their work and outside of it.

“We try to build a firm culture rooted in faith for all that we do, praying before and after broadcasts,” Toole said. “And then outside of it we go to Mass together and then grab dinner for comradery.”

While the Beat is not an official club, the group is in the process of becoming one. Toole thinks that attaining the status of a club will aid the mentality of its members and lead to a greater recognition of the club among students.

Students can watch the Beat live at 4:30 p.m. four days a week on the Beat’s YouTube channel or on the TVs in the JC. More information can be found at the Beat’s Instagram page @franciscan.beat.