An audience cheers. Drums and saxophones are paired with the sun setting behind the Newport pier. If you look closely, you’ll catch a glimpse of one of the best local crab joints in town. It’s the catchy start of another Good Evening UCI episode, which offers quality news updates on the latest social, entertainment and sports events, making it one of the most popular independent news sources on campus which offers quality news updates on the latest social, entertainment and sports events
Mainstream news outlets have left many students at UC Irvine craving for a fresh and more creative approach at quality news. But how do students at UC Irvine stay informed on current events and school updates? I had the opportunity to get to know Logan Frick and Steve Scifo from our very own video news show on campus, Good Evening UCI. With their insight, I have come to understand that most students such as Erin Lambie, a second year Biological Sciences major, “have found nothing of interest in mainstream news sources at UC Irvine.”
Frick, a fourth year Political Science major and Scifo, a fourth year International Studies major, are two fellow anteaters who have a passion for reporting what students at UC Irvine truly want to hear. Food reviews from local restaurants and updates on UCI sports are two of their many areas of expertise. After disappointment in what the New University newspaper and other mainstream media outlets had to offer, Frick and Scifo decided to launch the first video news source on campus, feeling a definite need for alternative forms of media. Following weeks of hard work, a few creative sparks, and partial funding from Student Affairs, Good Evening UCI’s once “amateur hour,” became a reality. Reporting from various locations on campus, in Irvine and around Newport Beach, the cast of Good Evening UCI has been presenting students with quality news and entertainment, with a hint of comedic undertones, since October of 2009.
Frick and Scifo revealed to me what seemed to be a profound enthusiasm for the many events we have on campus; from concerts and song festivals to sports and politics, no aspect of news is put down due to its controversy. According to Scifo, “there’s nothing wrong with telling people what’s happening, as long as you tell both sides.” Additionally, he believes that unlike other media outlets, Good Evening UCI provides “a perspective on what the average anteater wants to see from people just like them.” Scifo also expressed that other news mediums on campus are catering to a much more formal audience: “The New U is trying to play for the audience that reads the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times, students aren’t interested in that sort of print writing and content,” instead, most students want to know what’s happening on campus and within the community, where we can get some good grub, and updates on entertaining events that are taking place close to what most of us call home.
One student, a fourth year Psychology and Social Behavior major, who did not want to reveal her name, agrees, and feels campus papers “advertise things that are wrong, like eyelid surgery for Asian Americans.” Furthermore, she goes on to explain how ads like these contribute to her lack of interest and support of campus print media. Good Evening UCI has tried to approach news in a more fun and entertaining fashion, like featuring guest chefs and exploring local cuisine, generating greater interest and excitement for the local gems of Irvine.
Xavier Baltazar, a second year Engineering major, looks to independent media outlets because when coming across other news sources around campus, he claims, “everything looks the same.” Shows such as Good Evening UCI entertain a variety of students because no matter what their interests may be, there is always something for everybody.
Comprised of a group of good friends who enjoy working together, the chemistry between cast members of Good Evening UCI is evident on screen, giving the show a definitive edge over other news outlets.” Frick claims they would love to partner up with other independent media outlets on campus “if people are in line with what we want to do, and they want to help us out with a good story.” Incite Magazine, KUCI, along with Anteater Television are a couple of the many independent outlets on campus that share the same passion as the young men of Good Evening UCI. At some point, if you are inspired to start your own alternative media outlet, Frick advises students to run with their ideas because “you never know if you don’t try.”
SARAH BARAKAT is a third year Criminology, Law and Society major at the University of California, Irvine
Photo courtesy of “Good Evening UCI”