NTC Alumni are everywhere.
What NTC means to us & current students:
Anchor / Reporter - WGN-TV
"I’m one of the rare students that worked in all of the arms of the COMS department. I made documentaries, I wrote for and was an editor at the Northern Star, and did some on-air work at NTC. Without the Northern Television Center facility and opportunity, I would not have the career in television I have today.
I asked this question so many times when I was a student - why can’t all emphases of the NIU Department Of Communication work together? How great would a news broadcast at NTC be with Northern Star journalists in the newsroom? An NTC Television channel would have been a great place for media studies students to broadcast their documentaries and films to an audience larger than Watson Hall. And the SPORTS programs could have been involved, too - teaching athletes on-air skills they could use later in their professional skills.
I keep coming back to the department chair’s comments about the enrollment problems and why this decision was made. Why didn’t they ever reach out to former students who are successful thanks to the program? To help get the word out? A “hey, we’re in trouble here and could use some help?” Do they WANT NTC to be a failure? What do they want from their media department, exactly? It makes no sense to demoralize and tear down a portion of your program where students are clearly having success later in their careers. That won't help boost your enrollment numbers.
And finally, to anybody in the department who wants to pivot away from the “local TV news model”...I’m here to tell you that you can still have a GREAT career in local television. A LOT, if not the majority of people, still get their news from local TV. I get to travel the country putting together stories. I meet all kinds of people. Heck, I have a TV series and podcast dedicated to theme parks and roller coasters! The local television business is not dead. It is different and is looking for people who have multiple skills - skills a place like NIU could focus on developing in their students."
Chicago Cubs / Big Ten Network
"NTC was my safe place. It was the place I spent most of my time. The place I always knew I could go and be surrounded by people who had the same vision and interests that I did.
The time spent at the Northern Television Center gave me the experience I needed to get a job with NIU Media Services working with the football team, which resulted in my current jobs with the Chicago Cubs and Big Ten Network.
Closing NTC is not best for the students at Northern. I know I’m not the only one who felt a huge sense of community there."
Photojournalist - WLS-TV
All the accolades and successful stories most alumni have earned, it's thanks to the strong foundation of the NTC hands on education program.
NTC needs to be given the importance and financial support that it requires so students want to go to NIU for Journalism and Communications.
Executive Producer - Windy City LIVE
"NTC is the reason I am working in television. From the moment I stepped in the door I realized I was home.
NTC operates like a newsroom in the real world. It prepares you for what's to come after graduation and ensures that if you want to, you will get a job in TV. NTC allows you to explore the broadcasting space, makes you understand deadlines, hones writing skills & is a family.
Closing it is a tremendous mistake. I owe my career to my time at the Northern Television Center."
NTC Graduate Assistant / Top Shelf Sports Executive Producer
"The Northern Television Center is more than just a building. It has given myself and countless others the opportunity to grow and learn in an active television workplace. It has prepared us as journalists to represent the Huskie community in the professional world.
The proof is in our alumni network. We all share the same appreciation for the NTC because we know that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the early experience of working there.
We feel connected to this facility because it is what gave us our first chance. By closing the NTC, you’re not just shutting down a building, you’re shutting down future opportunities for journalists to grow beyond his/her own expectations."
NTC Graduate Student
"NTC isn't just a building. It's a home. Without this professional level studio and community, we wouldn't be where we are.
My NTC family is winning awards, getting jobs, and making names for themselves in the world. I came to NIU because NTC is far better than any other college studio I saw.
I chose NIU because I wanted to stay at NTC for grad school. NTC helped me find my voice and place in this world. We are a family and NTC is our home."
Editor / Videographer - Chicago Cubs Productions
"NTC is what sparked my interest in pursuing a career in television.
It gave me and my NIU colleagues the building blocks needed to succeed in the media world. This is a bummer for the kids!"
Former Reporter - WISN News
"The Northern Television Center isn’t just a beat up steel TV studio and classroom—it’s a ticket. It’s a ticket to careers past and present, and experiences you can’t get anywhere else.
On NIU's worst day, we were there. Student journalists led the way with coverage of the shooting in Cole Hall, and relayed necessary information to the public. Our classmates were gunned down, and we scrambled, using everything we learned inside NTC.
I learned how to write, shoot video, edit and tell stories at NTC. I see broadcast alums shine EVERY SINGLE DAY thanks to their experiences at NIU.
Northern Illinois University is taking valuable resources from the next generation of journalists, who will most likely transfer where opportunity still exists. Students ARE dedicated to greatness. Is NIU?"
Anchor / Reporter - KSL5-TV
"One of the major reasons I decided to leave Utah and attend Northern Illinois University was because of the NTC.
I knew I wanted to be a television reporter from the moment I stepped on campus and without the experience I gained from working on a newscast each day I wouldn’t have been prepared for my first job.
The staff at NTC encouraged my passion and I am forever grateful to them. I hope that the administration at NIU will see how valuable it is to have a broadcast program and a facility like NTC, taking it away from its students would be a mistake."
Reporter / Anchor - WWMT-TV
“NTC represents the best time of my life. I learned so much about the news biz, but I learned so much more about myself and about life. I found my calling, my passion.
It was at NTC I first realized I was worth something. I also met the love of my life at NTC, my wife, Andrea. We have a child together and have been fortunate enough to work together at stations throughout the region and the country.
None of that would have happened had I never stepped foot into the Northern Television Center.”
NBC Sports Chicago
"There is no substitute for a working, living, breathing newsroom. I was fortunate enough to experience a "real" newsroom while I was still in college. NTC changed my direction as a student, and in turn, my direction in life. The opportunity to follow my passions and pursue a career in journalism is a debt that I owe in large part to NTC and my instructors therein.
Every student should have the same opportunities to follow their passions. An NIU without NTC would make those dreams far less possible for future students.
Any future plans that do not also include investing in the future of NTC would lead me to believe that NIU doesn't have a very high opinion of journalism (or journalists for that matter.)
There is a huge difference between a classroom and a newsroom, and I find it appalling that leadership cannot see what NTC means to the students, alumni and community at large."