Ben Wittenstein

Hometown: Glenview, IL

Major: Journalism

Years at IU: 2013 – 2017

What he did at IU: I was involved in the student radio station WIUX for four years, and was the sports director there for three of those.  I also broadcasted basketball, soccer, baseball, and field hockey games with BTN Student U.
I helped out with the NSJC, too, interviewing a couple of IU alumni in journalism for a website podcast. I did some work with the IDS, aka, helping co-host a pop culture podcast for a whopping 5 podcast episodes sophomore year. I also spent an unhealthy amount of time on Twitter, but never did so in any of Galen’s classes.

What he does now: I’m currently a play-by-play broadcaster and an on-air host with KRES Radio in Moberly, Missouri. My main job is broadcasting local high school and college football, basketball, baseball, and softball games during the year, but because it’s a small town radio station, I get to do everything there is to do—things like giving news and sports updates, recording ads, interviewing local people and politicians, and writing news and sports stories.

What advice he has for sports media students: Reach out to as many people as you can who work in the area of journalism you’re interested in. This is a very unique field, in that it’s obviously super competitive but for whatever reason, the people who’ve made it are normally more than helpful to help out younger people work their way up. If you have a favorite writer, get in touch with them! Your favorite broadcaster is on twitter? Tweet at them and interact with them. Cultivating relationships is of course important, but cultivating relationships where you can get feedback from a trusted person in the field is absolutely invaluable in journalism. You literally have nothing to lose by reaching out to people you respect in journalism, most likely they will love to help you out; and if not, the worst they can say is no.

Oh, and also, listen to Galen. He knows what he’s talking about (even if he doesn’t think Mr. Hibachi is a life changing restaurant), and he’ll be able to help you immensely at IU and your career if you let him.