C-SPAN visits Topeka

C-SPAN’s Ashley Hill visited campus this week while in town filming for an upcoming special on Topeka.

Ryan Ogle

Ashley Hill, producer for cable news network C-SPAN, paid a visit to Washburn on Monday and spoke with mass media students about the ins and outs of TV journalism.

Hill was in town to gather footage for part of the network’s C-SPAN’s Cities Tour, which will showcase Topeka in the coming weeks. A ten-year veteran of the television industry, Hill cut her teeth producing local programming in her home state of Ohio before making the jump to news. The transition saw Hill relocate to Washington D.C., where she landed a job at C-SPAN. The job, which sees Hill visiting cities across the country, was a perfect fit for the reporter.

“I’ve always wanted to travel the country and tell people’s stories,” Hill said of her role with the network. “I really believe in what CSPAN does – providing access to information and letting people tell their own stories without interference from an anchor or talking head.”

Exploring the city in one of C-SPAN’s Local Content Vehicles, Hill and her crew visited with locals to unearth bits of Topeka’s untold history. Segments to be featured on the Topeka edition of C-SPAN’s Cities Tour, include a look at the reading library inside the Governor’s Mansion, the history of Brown v. Board and the civil rights movement in Kansas and an interview with Kansas author

Cyn Harris, who penned a book about Clemetine Paddleford, a 1950s food journalist who paved the way for Food Network celebrities like Alton Brown and Emeril Lagasse.

Looking back at her own career, Hill imparted some valuable advice to Washburn students. “Learn to do as much as possible and learn from as many people as possible. Be in the right place, you will learn from the people around you,” Hill said. “You’re going to fail sometimes. I thought I was going to be in print journalism initially. I wound up getting a job in television and I loved it. I didn’t expect it, but that’s what happens. Be willing to try new things and don’t be afraid to fail.

The Topeka edition of C-SPAN’s Cities Tour will air May 2-3 on CSPAN 2 and CSPAN 3. For details visit www.c-span.org.