Educating future broadcast journalists who understand how to gather information and tell good stories represents the essence of a Manship mission in broadcast journalism.
While a highly skilled and dedicated faculty remains paramount to the learning process, technology in the control room, the studio and remote facilities provides the finishing touch important to giving Manship students an edge in the competitive job market.
That’s why the Manship School and LSU Student Media invested $125,000 this year to make studio facilities and switching capabilities state of the art.
“The fundamentals of reporting haven’t changed,” said Jerry Ceppos, Manship’s dean. “Broadcasts journalists still must gather facts, ask probing questions and be excellent writers. The major shift has occurred in technology – the speed and agility involved in getting information to viewers.”
The most striking change to Manship broadcast facilities is the installation of a state-of-the-art television studio, replacing the Chroma key “green room” or virtual set in place for the last 10 years.
“The new studio is clean, sheik and timeless,” said John Friscia, Manship’s broadcast engineer. “We want our students to focus on quality content, rather than rely on costly bells and whistles that may be quickly outdated.”
Renee Pierce, Manship’s network manager, who worked closely with Friscia on the projects, said the remodeled studio provides students with a facility similar to what they will encounter in smaller television markets where many will begin their careers.
“It’s important that students learn in an environment that’s closely related to what they’ll encounter in the work place,” Pierce said.
The new studio includes lighting technology that allows students to create the aesthetics and energy needed for various types of programming.
“Students may want to use a blue shading for news programming and purple and gold for a sports show,” Pierce said. “They can make the transition seamlessly.”
Changes in the studio are complemented by significant technological advancements in the broadcast control room where a new multi-definition switcher – the heart of the facility – simplifies production and adds capabilities for creating compelling content for the viewer.
“We chose a switcher that aligns students with the technology found in professional setting at a price range that made it affordable,” Friscia said. “It’s flexible, it’s fast and it provides audio and video capabilities that far exceed our former technology.”
Other features of the new switching technology include:
- Multi-view technology with segmented framing, allowing directors to see all available camera shots on a single monitor.
Wireless headsets that allow production crew members greater mobility, both in the control room and the studio.
- Digitally stored graphics that are easily retrievable and sequenced.
- “Both studio and the control room improvements are a part of our commitment to maintaining Manship’s reputation as one of America’s leading mass communication schools,” Ceppos said. “Technological advancements such as these benefit all of our constituents, our students, our faculty and the broadcast television industry.”
Tiger TV will broadcast live from the Manship patio before each home football game of the 2012 football season.
The new game-day show (still to be named) will feature special guests, commentary on the upcoming game and the pageantry of LSU football Saturdays.
“We’re extremely excited about this new venture,” said Bob Ritter, director of Student Media. “It provides our students with the opportunity to do live television in front of literally thousands of fans who can view firsthand an important part of the Manship School’s teaching process.”
Cindy Carter, Student Media’s new Tiger TV adviser, will work with both on-air talent and the production crew. Carter’s career spanned more than 20 years as a working journalist, most recently at WZTV in Nashville. She’ll also teach broadcast television classes at the Manship School.
“We feel very fortunate to have someone with Cindy’s experience,” Ritter said. “She’s enthusiastic, she’s fun and, most important, she brings solid professional experience to both Manship and Student Media.”
The game-day show will feature a new portable set that features exchangeable graphics, making it usable for Tiger TV, KLSU 91.1 fm and other Student Media outlets.
“The new set allows us to brand the Manship School and Student Media entities,” Ritter said. “We think the new show will be great for viewers, for out students and those attending pre-game festivities at the Manship School.