Student Newsroom Planned
By Barbara Bullington
The East Carolina University School of Communication has been awarded a $60,000 grant by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
Tim Hudson, director of the School, said the grant will be used to create a Multimedia Student Newsroom, complete with a state-of-the-art computer system to write stories, perform script “rundowns,” access wire copy, control teleprompters and conduct a long list of other modern journalistic tasks.
“With this newsroom system in place, ECU communication majors will produce public affairs programs in a newscast format to be broadcast on one of the cable TV access channels in Greenville and Pitt County,” Hudson said. “In addition, students will use the newsroom to develop more in-depth ‘print’ stories, video clips, radio style audio reports, and photographic series – all to be available on an ECU student news web site. We’re even looking into student news podcasts. The possibilities are very exciting. And it all starts in the fall with the new television programs.”
Hudson said the student newspaper and radio stations already do a good job of covering campus events, so these new efforts will focus on community news in Greenville and Pitt County.
“Obviously this will benefit our journalism majors, but this also allows ECU to enhance its Media Production major as well,” Hudson said. “The student journalists will provide the content, and our media production students will crew the studio broadcasts. Learning how to direct and produce a fast-paced, half-hour, multi-camera television broadcast – on time and on a regular basis – is of major importance to a production curriculum.”
While some TV news programs are run by robotic cameras, according to Hudson, there has been a major resurgence in multi-camera studio production. “This experience is excellent preparation for every kind of live sports production as well as variety, entertainment, award and in-studio reality shows. Because both our journalism major and our media production major are in the School of Communication, this kind of cooperation is an everyday thing for our faculty and students. That’s not the case at every university.”
Hudson and the school’s broadcast education coordinator, Carey Martin, attended a broadcasting convention in Las Vegas, Nev., to evaluate computer newsroom systems for final selection.
The convergence newsroom/classroom will be located in Joyner East and connected to the school’s existing TV production studio in the main Joyner Library building. Installation will take place over the summer.