By Anna Skinner
Former Westfield resident and current Ball State University student Jenna Liston has been shaping her big dream for years. Liston, a telecommunications and journalism major, is into broadcast journalism and hopes to someday be an anchor on the Today Show.
Just recently, Liston was one of four BSU freshmen to receive an anchor position at Ball State’s selective Newslink Indiana program. Newslink Indiana focuses on hard news stories. Liston also hosts Connections Live, another BSU news program, which focuses more on feature stories. Liston’s Connections Live producer encouraged her to try out for Newslink Indiana, which overall led to her anchor position.
Liston has loved being on television her whole life. When she was younger, her step-father created commercials, and that inspired her love for being on air.
“Watching my step-dad create commercials for St.Vincent hospital and the Children’s Museum was cool,” Liston said. “I started doing commercials for him as a kid, and I enjoyed being on TV in front of the camera and in that spotlight.”
Liston began pursuing her love for broadcasting when she attended Westfield High School. She immediately started taking media classes and anchored Westfield High School’s news program RockTV all four years of her high school career.
Once Liston reached BSU, she jumped right into the journalism life. She began taking all of her major telecommunications and journalism news classes, and joined Connections Live right away despite her nervousness on whether or not she was ready yet.
“Definitely jumping right into Connections Live when I first got here helped because I was skeptical whether I should join freshman year or not,” Liston said. “I started out with all major classes for news and that helped me get comfortable. I am one step ahead of the game because of all my experience.”
Liston advises future journalism students to start strong immediately once they reach campus.
“Definitely take a chance,” Liston said. “Don’t sit back and watch, there are so many people fighting for this career and your position and you need to get the courage and step out of your comfort zone to try something new because you will regret it if you don’t. If you think you have the talent for it, you should go for it.”
Liston plans on continuing to anchor for Newslink Indiana for the next four years of her BSU career, though she does have to try out for the position each semester. Once she graduates, she hopes to work for an entertainment show, such as the Today Show. Possibly she will run her own show.
“I’m determined because I have a goal and a lot of people have a big dream that slowly starts to die, but I am not going to let that dream go,” Liston said. “I am determined to get to the top because why would I give up something I love to do?”