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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Future broadcasters at URI win scholarships

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KINGSTON, R.I. –September 25, 2006 -- URI journalism students Lauren Bettencourt of East Providence and Rebekah Berger of Cranston are on the path to careers in broadcast journalism. The Rhode Island Broadcasters Association recently encouraged their efforts by awarding each one with a $1,000 scholarship. The association awards scholarships annually to Rhode Island students who plan a career in television or radio.

“I actually wanted to become a print journalist, but that all changed as soon as I took a TV reporting class,” says Bettencourt who is in her senior year. “Learning all about what pieces are put together for a half an hour broadcast amazed me. After that, I knew I wanted to work in the newsroom of a television station.”

Bettencourt interned at ABC6 in Providence for two semesters. Last month, she landed a part-time job at the station.

“I think Lauren is going places,” comments Barbara Meagher, Bettencourt’s broadcast professor at URI. “Last September she arrived on campus telling the story of how she accosted ABC6 weatherman Fred Campagna after he completed a live shot on Scarborough Beach. It took guts and of course, she was reluctant to approach a television personality, but her courage paid off. Meeting Fred was the beginning of an adventure that led to an internship, and recently to a job.”

“I guess you could say I was bitten by the broadcasting bug early,” reports Berger who is also in her senior year.” It was a custom in my house to always watch the 6 p.m. news for as long as I can remember.”

This past summer, the URI interned in the newsroom of 630 WPRO where she conducted phone interviews for stories she helped produce. She also went to several assignments and covered several court stories with other reporters. “It was a solid introduction into the business and it really opened my eyes to what I will be doing post-graduation, ” says Berger who is currently the news director for 90.3 WRIU, the campus radio station.

Meagher comments: “Rebekah made herself known to me from the start by making direct eye contact and constantly asking pertinent questions. Not a coincidence that these are qualities of a good journalist.”