The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Senior column | You get out what you put in

Each year at DITV had different opportunities to take risks.
Photo contributed by Ashley Weil

Something I try and tell all new staffers as they join Daily Iowan TV is that you get out of the DI, what you put into it. And while I have put a lot into this organization, I have gained even more than I could’ve ever expected.

As soon as I visited the University of Iowa, I knew this was where I would get the experiences I wanted. I hear stories of students saying they came to all these journalism tours and interactive experiences that I’ve seen hosted on campus. I didn’t go to any of those. I came to just one general tour and happened to stumble into a small roundtable discussion on what the Journalism and Mass Communication School offers.

I don’t remember anything of what anyone said, but I remember most of the students saying how they got “once in a lifetime” opportunities through the DI. As soon as I got accepted into the school, and signed up for classes, I applied to the DI.

I had a quick Zoom meeting with the then-news director and joined right away. My first day of college was also my first day on the job as a DITV reporter. I didn’t know anything about how to use a camera, write concisely, do a standup, produce, anchor, or anything.

Each year with DITV was different with a new staff and opportunities to take risks and learn in fresh ways.

DITV Now, the social media-styled five-minute newscasts that DITV did in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 pandemic was my start.

That’s how I learned the difference between a VO, VOSOT, and PKG, and where I fell in love with talking and interviewing different people and writing in a concise way to spread important and impactful stories to an audience. Now, DITV looks a little different, we have 15 to 20-minute-long LIVE shows, full of detailed reports ranging in different topics and beats. We have new set pieces, new technology, and new ambitions.

The staff before me taught me nearly everything I know — and in my opinion, I know a good amount about this broadcast news thing. But being a leader these past two years has given me the most.

I have adored seeing scared freshmen break out of their shells, from writing their first kicker story to eventually anchoring consistently and turning packages with strong interviews, engaging videos, strong sounds, well-written scripts, and active standups. I love how teaching helps me become a better reporter and producer, and how I continue to learn something new every day — whether it’s in the news, or from the news.

I am so proud of all the work I have put into DITV, from the individual stories that taught me how to report, to the shows I have produced and created, to the staff I have led.

I cannot wait to see what they do next. For me, I’m excited to continue growing and to be challenged to create more impactful, important, and engaging stories with a new community. But DITV is something I will treasure forever, thanks to the incredible and massive amount of love I have gained from this community — friendships, a career, and a million and one memorable experiences.

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About the Contributor
Ashley Weil
Ashley Weil, DITV News Director
Ashley Weil is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications with minors in Theatre Arts and Political Science. Weil is the DITV News Director, Overseeing all content for DITV. She also continues to work roles as a TV reporter, anchor, producer, and enjoys helping with tech roles. She loves covering arts, culture, politics, and other important/impactful stories for her community in a visual and engaging way.