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Beverly: ‘Jackson 24/7’ program a blessing from disaster

Steve Beverly addresses the crew after a daily airing of Union's broadcast of
Steve Beverly addresses the crew after a daily airing of Union's broadcast of "Jackson 24/7." (Photo by Ebbie Davis)
Related Resource(s): Student-produced ‘Jackson 24/7’ to celebrate 1,000th episode

JACKSON, Tenn.Nov. 27, 2012 – On any given afternoon you can walk into the news studio at Union University and find Steve Beverly sitting at the head of a black table surrounded by students, tentatively waiting for his instructions for the day’s news show.

Beverly, associate professor of communication arts, is the news director for the “Jackson 24/7” daily news show at Union.

This is Beverly’s 20th year teaching at Union. He has had a huge part in shaping the broadcasting communication program into what it is known for today. Beverly refers to it as “an integrated, hands-on, education tool for our kids to be able to learn and prosper.”

Beverly was instrumental in creating the shows that Union students produced before “Jackson 24/7” was technologically attainable. He helped create “Union After Hours,” “Jackson Nights,” “Focus on Jackson,” “Oh, I’ve Heard That Song,” which was a music trivia game show, and “Head to Head,” a high school game show.

One of the main reasons he chose to teach at Union was because of the student-teacher relationships.

“I believe in the principles of Christian learning,” he said. “I also believe in the environment of a Christian university where the relationship with students matters more than having some of your work being published in a magazine.”

Prior to coming to Union, Beverly was a news director in Savannah, Ga., Wilmington, N.C., and in Jackson. He served as an assistant news director and executive producer in Spartanburg, S.C., and was an reporter, anchor and producer in Columbus, Ga.

Beverly’s experience in broadcasting and TV news had a huge part in the vision he had for the program at Union. In his initial interview for the position at Union, Beverly explained that he wanted to implement a daily informational news show that his students would run from the inside out.

Beverly quickly realized the complications that went along with that. The main problem was technology. It simply was not available.

“I knew this would be a very difficult task, because we just did not have the technology at our disposal,” he said.

That changed in 2008, in the aftermath of the tornado that hit the campus. When the campus was in such disarray, Beverly transported students to Jackson’s channel 6 news studio to teach classes.

People from the channel approached Beverly about his vision for a live daily news show. They offered to provide the technology for Union to produce the show for them. Beverly said the timing could not have been better.

“Coming back from that tornado, our students needed something to look forward to,” he said. “They needed something that they could put their stamp on, something of their own.”

The daily news program “Jackson 24/7” soon became a reality, launching in November 2008. The show will celebrate its 1,000th episode on Nov. 28.

“I can’t believe how fast time has gone by,” he said. “It feels like yesterday that we did our first episode. We have come very far. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the students and the program. I’m very proud of everyone who has been a part of this.”

By Chelsie Kenworthy (’14)


Related Resource(s): Student-produced ‘Jackson 24/7’ to celebrate 1,000th episode
Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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