By Janel Shoun on 9/14/2011
If you have noticed a few familiar faces on Campus Channel 97 between the movies recently, you weren’t dreaming. A team of student journalists debuted the first LUmination Network TV news broadcast Friday, Sept. 9.
You can still catch the ongoing broadcast, anchored by students each week at 8 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays. The first broadcast featured stories on the renovated Fanning Hall and Student Activity Center, Convocation and the Lipscomb in Vienna program as well as weather and entertainment news.
The LUmination Network is a student news bureau established in spring 2010 as part of the restructuring of the communication and journalism department. Student journalists began production of a web news outlet at that time to replace the print newspaper, The Babbler.
On Friday, Sept. 9, the LUmination students added TV news coverage, which is shot, produced and edited completely by students, most of whom are doing it on their own time, not for class credit. They plan to produce a weekly newscast taped in Mullican Studio each Thursday throughout the semester.
“We are actually doing the same things they do at Channel 4 and 5,” said Jones, a junior from Nashville, noting that during the first week of production she learned about using a teleprompter and shooting video as well as the responsibilities of a news anchor. “I’m so excited about learning everything.”
“We try to do everything like a real newscast,” said Rachel Carden, a senior from Smyrna and news director for the LUmination broadcast. “We’re learning how to run a news show as close as possible to the real thing.”
The LUmination news crew is led by faculty advisor Alan Griggs, the communication and journalism department’s new visiting professor and executive-in-residence. Griggs is a former WSMV Channel 4 news reporter and news director and still a contributor to a weekly PBS program. “My goal is to give them a taste of the real world and to help them gain knowledge and wisdom through that experience,” Griggs said.
Around 15 students are currently working on the broadcasts and others will join as class schedules allow. Plans are in the works to expand the sports coverage, to create student-developed news shows and make production services available to tape podcasts by professors, Griggs said.
The first broadcast featured student-centered stories like recent changes in meal plans, RUSH week, an NFL kick-off party, an interview with student involvement director Garner Goode and a feature on “Tweets of the Week.”
“It’s definitely something we’ve been needing,” said Hunter Patterson, a senior from Waverly, Tenn., editor of the LUmination news website and the “Tweets of the Week” reporter. LUmination’s goal is to “report what really matters to students, to show students how the news affects them and will continue to after they leave campus,” he said.
“This is a big part of our commitment to a renewed curriculum in the Department of Communication and Journalism,” said department chair Craig Carroll. “This opportunity to work in a real-world broadcast setting allows students to receive training on cutting-edge technology and to get the education they need and deserve.”