TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 06, 2004
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Journalism department to add new broadcasting class
Broadcast journalism students will now get experience performing all the roles involved in an newscast environment.

By Amy Bowman

Broadcast journalism students will anchor, report, produce and edit a weekly 30-minute newscast that will air on TCU cable under a new class planned for next semester.

John Miller, a broadcast journalism professor, says he wants the station to “push the envelope and report solid hard news to reach the TCU community.” The importance of having a newscast is to broadcast important information to the university community, he said.

The students in the class will get experience performing all roles in the newsroom, which is the best way for them to learn, said Tommy Thomason, journalism department chairman.

“Operating nurses learn by being in the operating room, teachers learn by student teaching and broadcast journalism students learn by being in a newsroom,” he said.
As a former news director for WFAA Channel 8 and CBS 11, Miller says nothing compares to having on-camera tapes. News directors want to see students reporting on camera in a news-like setting, he said.

Thomason said Miller is considered one of the best news directors in the country.

“Now, students will be able to work around a consummated professional,” he said.
Robyn Kriel, a junior broadcast journalism major, said she is excited to take the class with Miller because of his past experience and to gain some real-world experience.

Senior broadcast journalism major Jill Meninger said the content of the class sounds great but updating the equipment is also a must.

“I think the broadcast sequence lacks certain technological resources in camera and editing equipment that would be beneficial to students,” she said.

The university is spending a little more than $51,000 for additional camera and editing equipment for the class, including cameras and accessories, lighting kits, microphones, editing software and equipment, tripods and a recording system used to upload tapes into the editing systems when cameras are not available.

Kriel is happy with the broadcast journalism sequence but says she would feel more prepared to do a broadcast internship with the experience she will get from the new class.

“With new experiences and equipment, the newscast class will offer me practical, hands-on experience that I could more comfortably utilize in an internship,” she said.

University of Texas at Austin’s TV station, KVR-TV, is the only student-operated and student produced, FCC licensed broadcast station in the U.S.

According to their Web site, the station works with student volunteers of all majors. Editorial and managerial decisions are made by student directors headed by a station manager and students are given guidance by a station faculty advisor.

There are a lot of ideas about the newscast but a lot of the details have not been worked out yet, such as prerequisites, the time the students will spend with the class and other curriculum decisions, Miller said.

Miller has been contacting local news stations to try to find a news set, including a desk and backdrop that can be donated to the class, he said. Miller hopes that students can then come up with a theme and modify the set to their needs, he said.

The journalism department has been planning the class for more than a year, Thomason said.

A prototype newscast is in the works for later in the semester with the help of students in the broadcast reporting class, Miller said.
 
 
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