‘Good Morning America’ attends FAMU’s homecoming

The scoreboard at Bragg Memorial Stadium during ABC’s Good Morning America broadcast. Photo courtesy: Christian Porretto

Good Morning America came to Florida A&M University to cover homecoming events throughout the week. ABC’s morning show displayed an ongoing series of specials dedicated to the traditions at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, also known as HBCU’s.

The live broadcast aired at 6 a.m. on Friday morning and additional coverage throughout Saturday featuring the homecoming parade and festivities.

Kenneth Jones, a professor at the School of Journalism and Graphic Design, better known as the “J-School,” believes the coverage that FAMU received is valuable to the school in many ways.

“It’s multiple positives for the university,” Jones said. “We get nationwide coverage, not to mention the coverage we get from streaming, which hopefully impacts our recruitment, our fundraising, and everything else.”

Jones also talked about all the benefits that came from GMA’s visit, especially for J-School students. He mentioned that ABC had a crew on campus that week scouting locations for their broadcast. This gave students an opportunity to see behind the scenes of a high-level production.

Madeline Smith, a graduating broadcast journalism student, shares some thoughts about the exposure that was offered by GMA.

“I feel that a lot of the J-School students in particular are getting opportunities to get hands-on experience being out in the field shooting,” Smith said. Which is exactly what Smith was doing outside of the Al Lawson Center.

She was also featured in a special segment that highlighted her friend Marcus Thomas, a highly involved student on campus. Thomas invited her to come on air with him to speak on his behalf. The segment was about his many accomplishments at FAMU and how his experience has been shaped, as he embraces his identity as a bisexual person.

Jalynn McDuffey, a second-year broadcast journalism student, was also featured in a special segment by GMA. It showcasts a painting that she created commemorating this year’s homecoming celebration. During this experience, she got to meet with some of the film and sound crew, which included two FAMU alumni.

“They gave me great wisdom about jumping into journalism, and not relying too much on knowing everything before I get there, and that it’s a constant learning experience,” McDuffey said.

Kennedy Patton, another graduating broadcast journalism student, talked about how valuable the experience with ABC has been.

“It shows us as broadcast journalism students that it’s not too far away from us,” Patton said. “Being able to be on that big stage is not far from our proximity.”

To top it off, ABC News president, Kimberly Godwin, announced at Friday’s Convocation a huge donation for j-school, from the Walt Disney Company. Godwin was a part of the J-School’s inaugural graduating class.

Hopefully, homecoming next year will come with just as many exciting opportunities for FAMU.