Media Download: Press Coverage of the Presidential Debate

Media coverage drives our national debates, but too often, it is riddled with misinformation. On this episode of Media Download, Merrill is joined by media critic Eric Boehlert to talk about press coverage of the presidential campaign. Eric is writer at Media Matters for America (MMfA), a non-profit news watchdog organization with a mission to make sure the American people get the facts and meticulously document misinformation in the media.

MSU Unites in Candlelight Vigil


A member of The Muslim Student Association speaking for the association, and next to her is George Koutsouradis, member of Theta Xi.

By Elena Medina, News Director

On Wednesday night Fraternity Theta Xi, Le Circle Français and the Muslim Student Association and the Montclair State Arab Student Association organized a candle light vigil to remember those lost in the recent worldwide events. A group of about 50 students gathered at the Student Center Quad at 7pm to share reflective thoughts, light candles, and mourn for the victims of the Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and Nigeria attacks

Theta Xi’s George Koutsouradis, started the ceremony by introducing Elizabeth Emery, Chairperson for Modern Languages and Literatures, who thanked organizers for bringing the MSU community together on a chilly school night. She shared her condolences with those affected and looked to honor the lost lives during the event.


Shefa, a member of the Muslim Student Association, started by saying the association strongly condemn the attackers of Paris. She said “Islam is clear of such despicable injustice” and shared  words of sympathy for muslims being harassed as a result.

Josephine Seignat, a French national and visiting scholar of French at MSU, said the attack on Paris this past Friday was a great blow for symbolically for France.

She also commented on the aftermath against the muslim population.

“Usually in this time of crisis people usually look for scapegoats because they are scared,” she said. “The key is to keep our eyes open, and to talk as much as we can to everyone and talk about the problem.”

Seignat also commented on bringing other professors that focus on the issues of the Middle East to speak to students in the different language classes.

Koutsouradis shared the first flame from his candle with the other students while sharing words of hope. “Happiness never decreases by being shared” he said, “This is the type of flame that is not one of destruction or chaos, but it is a purging and warming flame.” The ceremony ended with a moment of silence.

Tune in for Thursday’s edition of the Morning Buzz for a complete feature on the event and an exclusive interview with a Muslim student who was harassed this past Monday on campus.


Media Download: The State of the Music Business and Digital Content Consumption Trends

A conversation about the state of the music business and how digital content consumption is changing. Interview with David Pakman, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock. David was the co-creator of the Apple Music Group, built one of the digital music field’s early and most influential successes emusic and is a leading expert on the changing digital music world. Today, music consumption is shifting to streaming service competitors, the business model for the entire industry is changing and Apple is flexing its muscle with its 4 month old Apple Music service. Both the music industry and the digital content businesses have major challenges ahead even as they grow huge audiences. Also, hear his fascinating work at venture capital firm Venrock and how they research trends 10 to 20 years down the line. If you want to learn more about David Pakman and his work, please visit his blog

Media Download is a podcast produced by students of Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media and WMSC-FM, the school’s radio station and hosted by the Director of the School of Communication and Media, Merrill Brown.

Media Download with Merrill Brown is now on iTunesU!

Media Download: Episode 4

In this episode of Media Download, we are joined by Tom Hall, Executive Director of The Montclair Film Festival, one of our partners here at Montclair State University, to discuss the festival’s upcoming fundraiser and how they landed the hottest ticket in town, an event with Director J.J. Abrams and Stephen Colbert at NJPAC less than a month from the mammoth box- office success that will be Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams is a renowned screenwriter, director and producer known for TV shows like Felicity, Alias and Lost and films like Star Trek, Super 8 and Star Wars: the Force Awakens which has already garnered incredible buzz throughout the year. You can’t hit a store without seeing Star Wars merchandise, and demand for pre-sale tickets caused a system meltdown for Fandango, AMC, Regal and other sites.

Media Download: Episode 3

On this episode of Media Download, we pause from the hurly burly of today’s media world to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the late filmmaker, stage director, actor and radio personality, Orson Welles. Almost 77 years to the date, the broadcast of “The War of The Worlds” changed media forever.

Media Download is hosted by Merrill Brown, Director of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University.

Morning Buzz Interviews Attorney and Spokesperson of Semioli Family

“The Morning Buzz” spoke with Attorney and Spokesperson for the Semioli Family, Robert Bianchi, about the latest update and developments on the hit-and-run case involving Montclair State University student Anna Semioli who remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Anyone with information regarding the October 9th hit-and-run is urged to contact Paul Degroot at the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office at (973) 881- 4800 or email
Robert Bianchi is a former prosecutor and trial attorney and founding partner at The Bianchi Law Group.


Producer: Juan Contla, Natalie Caamano
Executive Producer: Anabella Poland

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MSU Hosts Center for Environmental and Life Sciences Ribbon Cutting

Words by Samantha Williams

“We focus on opportunities for discovery, which is the most important part of learning for our students.” – Robert Prezant, Dean of College of Science and Mathematics

Courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

On October 2nd, Montclair State University held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new Environmental and Life Sciences building.

During the event, tours were given by the Center for Science and Math (CSAM) members and a panel discussion was held titled, The Future of Science. Panelists included Robert Hariri, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics and Mark Kelly, former NASA Astronaut, U.S Navy Captain, and test pilot.

In an interview, Kelly gave his thoughts about the new building and his hopes for the future.

Photo courtesy of Juan Contla

Photo courtesy of Juan Contla

“Seeing this new facility here that’s about the environment and life sciences is going to train the next generation of scientists for New Jersey and for our entire country…I’m hoping that we see astronauts on Mars sometime in my life time,” Kelly said.


Photo Courtesy of Juan Contla

“Once I looked out the window, I saw New York and its kind of like inspiration for some people, because seeing New York, some people want to work in the city, some people see their dreams farther in the distance, and maybe it’s more motivation for them to carry on with what they want to do,” said Kristen Ann Uri, a freshman at MSU is studying Biology.

Robert Prezant, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, had high remarks for the new laboratories, partnerships, collaborations, and research programs that this building will provide for the students. Prezant said the building was “107,500 square feet of beautiful learning and research space.”

The building will accommodate students in all science fields including environmental, biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical, medicinal, and many others.

WMSC is Going Back to The Present!

WMSC is heading Back to the Present tonight from 6-9pm! Join us as we celebrate “Back to the Future II” and the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to October 21st 2015. We will be talking 80’s, what the movie got right and what the movie got wrong! Tune in and join the fun. Connect on Social Media with #WMSCisBTTF! We will be live on Periscope, Snapchat, and Twitter! BTTF2

Artists Bring Out Talent At Open Mic Night!

Words & Photos by Lataya Rothmiller


“To those who don’t know, I have a condition called Tarantism… until this day tarantism means a state of the body that can’t help but move when…it… hears music.”

These were the original words of Sean Alino, Vice President of Speaking Through Silence, a creative writing organization on campus. On Tuesday, October 3rd, they held their regular open mic nights in the Rathskellar, bringing in over 70 people throughout the night.

The scene reflected a coffee shop as students filled the up seats waiting to share their passions on stage. Artists recited original songs, poems, jokes and raps. Some so overwhelmed by emotion they were brought to tears.

“We have such a receptive audience, and that’s what we hope for” says Club President Audrey Dingler. “It’s definitely a stress relief. A lot of people need this relief. Art imitates life. Life imitates art.”


Sean and Audrey, Vice President and President, even shared original poems. The crowd snapped their fingers and encouraged each other as they waited to take the stage.

Shana Louis, a sophomore and psychology major, performed a powerful poem over a melody. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten comfortable speaking aloud, it just comes from me knowing that people relate to it and they receive something out of my poetry so I do it anyway.”

WMSC Broadcasts a Montclair Football Win!

10/17 football

The MSU RedHawks played Christopher Newport University for the first time in history and WMSC had the call, Saturday, October 17.

The RedHawks came away with the 32-22 victory and improved to 3-3 on the season. Christopher Newport University fell to 1-4 on the season. The Christopher Newport Captains had a 22-7 lead at halftime. MSU scored 25 unanswered points in the second half to seal the win. MSU finished the game with five turnovers that gave them 14 points.
Sitesh Shah, Charlie Hecht and producer Sam Romano were live from Sprague field. Sean McChesney, Kevin Rabanal and Julia Pieritini covered the pregame, halftime and postgame from WMSC Studios in Schmitt Hall.
The team’s next game is Saturday, October 24 at The College of New Jersey at 1pm.
WMSC will have coverage of the team’s next home game on Saturday, October 31, against Wesley College at 1pm. Tune in to 90.3-FM, or the Live365 app for smartphones and tablets. WMSC Sports, on the field, on the court, on the ice, we’ve got you covered.
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Rock Band Lydia Revisits NYC

Words and photos by Natalie Caamano

The indie rock band Lydia finally revisited NYC on October 1st. As part of The Run Wild North American Tour, the band stopped at the Gramercy Theatre for their first visit since the 2014 tour when they played ‘Illuminate’ in its entirety.

Just a few days into their Run Wild tour, the band released their newest full-length, ‘Run Wild,’ on September 18th. The supporting acts for the tour are rock bands Seahaven, Turnover, and The Technicolors.

The Technicolors and Turnover warmed up the crowd at the Gramercy with their best tracks. Then Seahaven took the stage.


The four members of Seahaven walked out onto the dark stage in matching merch of their own, simple, black shirts with white lettering that reads, ‘PURA•VIDA.’ While doing a final sound test, the only light coming from the stage is the purple-lit drumset with the same design as the t-shirts.


Seahaven began their set with ‘It’s Over,’ the second track off their debut album ‘Winter Forever,’ then picked up the pace with a newer song, ‘Flesh.’ The band performed two more newer songs, then went back to some fan favorites from their debut.

seahaven2The band garnered the strongest crowd sing-a-long during their song ‘Save Me,’ with fans shouting the chorus and throwing fists into the air, as though they’ve written the words themselves.

The band then played a new, unreleased song, ‘Lost,’ before finishing with the appropriately named first track off their debut, ‘Goodnight.’ Throughout the band’s set, the crowd expressed how intimate and cathartic a Seahaven performance can be, even with their slower, quieter songs.



During the soundcheck for headliner Lydia, the stage changed drastically. Rather than simply using colorful, overhead lights, the backdrop seemed to be sprinkled with star-like lights. The crew also brought in large orbs filled with purple and magenta lights, hinting at the different vibe Lydia would provide.


Lydia opened with a track off their newest album, which was just released the week before. Despite being new, the crowd already knew the words and sang them back to the band.

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Lydia’s set was a balanced mix of songs from their newest album, their 2013 album ‘Devil,’ and possibly their most popular album, ‘Illuminate,’ released in 2008. The band left the stage for a brief moment before returning for their encore, the last track off a 2010 EP, ‘Assailants.’




The lineup for The Run Wild North American Tour was a sound mix of American rock and indie bands that can get crowds involved for both slower songs and those that pack a punch.


Lydia Setlist:

    • Past Life
    • Hospital
    • Do You Remember
    • Holidays
    • A Fine Evening for a Rogue
    • Riverman
    • The Exit
    • We’ll Never Die
    • Coffee Drips
    • One More Day
    • All I See
    • This Is Twice Now
    • When It Gets Dark Out
    • Hurry Back Tonight
    • Always Move Fast
    • Back to Bed
    • Knee Deep


  • Assailants

Seahaven Setlist:

    • It’s Over
    • Flesh
    • Wild West Selfishness
    • Silhouette (Latin Skin)
    • Black & White
    • Save Me
    • Lost
    • Goodnight

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Media Download: Episode 2

In this episode, Director of the School of Communication and Media and host, Merrill Brown, talks to J. Max Robins, President and Executive Director of The Center for Communication about [streaming giant] Netflix’s change of strategy and their first feature film release “Beast of No Nation,” a movie with huge potential to heat up the road to the Oscars.

Sound Design: Lenore Deluca
Associate Producer: Nicklaus Green
Producer: Mike Sheehan
Executive producer: Anabella Poland

Connect With Us!

Join the conversation using #WMSC across social media.
Stay tuned for special coverage on-air and across all our social media pages!