I’m posed with an interesting question. As of late, a topic of my involvement in a “college” tv news show has arisen. I was contacted by some officers of RPI TV and advised to join their news team, something I had originally stayed away from.
At first I was clueless about the group, I really didn’t know how they operated or anything like that so I decided to take the mellow/shy approach. Attempting to show off or anything like that is stupid if you ask me, people can determine for themselves what skill or lack there of I have.
The group is working to get a news show broadcasting, and with my experience I joined the teams “mailing list”, whatever involvement that brings. I guess my main thinking point on the subject is how would I do it differently. I can say I’ve started a news group before… Tiger Times… but the college version cannot be the exact same.
The main sticking point for me is sources. In HS we were given news, in college we’re given nothing. Working with “TV” people for a little while, I’ve learned the tech-savy people tend to be not so great at finding news. Hence the need for journalists. At RPI, all the journalists are a member of The Polytechnic.. a newspaper. So how do we get news? Whatever is found needs to meet a few criteria.. it needs to have reliable timing, the accuracy of the content isn’t as important as the regularness of it. News also needs to have some substance to it, a college news program needs to run for at least 15 minutes for it to be effectively watched.
Unlike high school, the stories don’t need to have any specific relavancy to anything.. thats a bonus feature if something exists.. but there needs to be stories.
Production time is another critical component. News gets stale overnight, unless you’re breaking a story or taking the documentary approach, news gets old fast.. and by fast I mean by the time you have time to air it, its alreadu outdated.
Few thoughts…. I get these annoying bullitens in my email weekly with 3-4 stories, theres some content. Could any kind of partnership with the Poly be setup to allow for a more visual presentation of their stories? I know most newspaper people hate tv… Ok, I’m alreay out of ideas.
Now for the structure of such a group, I dunno but access to a studio is critical, especially if a “breaking-news” approach exists. Based on my experience, having people work on stories seperatly is very difficult. I pulled off a total of 2 half-hour shows like this and it took about 4 months to do so.. why? Everyone has different deadlines. You end up waiting on stories or footage forever, constantly re-adjusting deadlines and frustrating everyone in the process.
An interesting idea would be a joint-editing facility.. somewhere that everyone could edit together.. better allowing the communication between editors and stories to make things flow.
How would I do it again? Depends..
Daily news has to be linear. Thats rule number 1
Weekly news can be edited, but keeping it linear will save time and ease deadlines
Bi-Weekly can be fully edited and spiffed up.
One problem I see is talent. In most cases, finding a tech crew isn’t nearly as hard as a reliable anchor. Since RPI is mostly an engineering/science school, I doubt finding a passionate journalist will be easy.
Well, I don’t know why I wrote this.. it will be interesting to see how things go. Being the freshmen I know changing the world is not something in my scope….
Time to attack php.. I’m beating phpBB and Gallery2 to use the same login for the Tiger Times portal. I compare it to… using a fork to drink milk