Susan Stephens

WNIJ News Reporter/Producer

Susan’s parents should have known she’d end up in radio: her favorite toys were tape recorders, cameras, notepads, and books. Many years later, she’s an award-winning reporter at her favorite radio station. Formerly WNIJ’s News Director, she asked to return to the role of full-time reporter/anchor/utility player in 2010 (less paperwork, more reporting!). Her #1 goal is to tell the most compelling stories in the fewest words possible…all the better if a little humor can be thrown into the mix.  It should come as no surprise, then, that she can whip up a haiku for any occasion. She also enjoys the Detroit Tigers, learning pioneer skills (Gardening, canning, and the like. Just in case.), traveling with friends, and pretending she’s going to get around to playing her theremin.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Brian Leaf will be remembered by many as the talented business reporter for the Rockford Register Star. But those who knew him also are sharing stories of his talents as a friend, father, spin-class instructor, musician, local music supporter, hunter, nature-lover, and all-around good guy.

Leaf died Wednesday at the age of 57. He had a heart attack while teaching a spin class at the YMCA in Rockford.

The man who kidnapped and murdered a Rockford newspaper boy in 1975 has died in prison at the age of 78. Now the family of Joey Didier will no longer have to circulate petitions to keep his killer, Robert Lower, from being paroled.

Lower’s 20th attempt for release from his life sentence was set for 2019: he was last denied parole in February 2014.

The disappearance and murder of the 15-year-old in March 1975 affected the community deeply. Thousands of Rockford residents have signed petitions over the decades asking the state's parole board to keep Lower in prison. 

pritchardstaterep.org

Today on WNIJ’s Friday Forum, we take on education in Illinois. 

State Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) is a member of the bipartisan bicameral commission tasked with reforming school funding in Illinois. The commission's recent report set a goal of increasing state funding for education from 26% to 50%. Pritchard says they also came up with 27 factors to help identify, then close, funding gaps between the wealthiest and poorest districts. 

Your Best Voice

Feb 6, 2017
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Did you know??? The most compelling sound to a human is another human’s voice. (No pressure)

Your Best Voice

Your best voice is natural.

Your best voice sounds like you.

Your best voice is calm and authoritative.

Your best voice matches the tone of your story.

Graphic Design by Teresa Chin/Youth Radio

Recording Your Interview

Wear headphones!

Ideally, your mic should be about four inches away from your subject’s mouth: that’s about a fist-width away. Keep it in roughly the same place throughout the interview. Angle the mic slightly so they are not speaking straight down it.

Never ever ever give up the mic. Do not let them hold the mic. Ever.

Keep the mic as steady as possible to avoid handling noise. Or use a mic stand or mic boom.

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