JCTV on the airAlthough it’s still very much in its fledgling state, Jamestown College students are working toward the day when JCTV rivals Fargo TV stations in the news department.
Although it’s still very much in its fledgling state, Jamestown College students are working toward the day when JCTV rivals Fargo TV stations in the news department.
For now, however, the student-run Dakota Central Telecommunications’ channel 16 lacks the manpower to compete in that arena. About 10 Jamestown College students work in the broadcast portion of the Student Media Center. Altogether there are about 50 students involved in various media center duties.
“We definitely want to grow, but 50 students aren’t enough,” said Steve Listopad, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, and adviser to the TV staff.
Two of the students, Richard Schmit and Lyndon Schmidt, are largely responsible for a daily newscast, which airs at 6:30, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Schmit is the TV news director and Schmidt is the news anchor. As the anchor, Schmidt searches out the news, weather and sports from other media sources — primarily local and area — and writes his script for the taped newscast.
Schmit sits in the control room taping and monitoring the newscast. After the taping, Schmit edits it and adds video clips and graphics. Even that half-hour piece takes a great deal of time for these college students, who said they want to make the newscast as professional as they can.
“We’d like the Student Media Center to become the news bureau for this part of the state because the community doesn’t have an anchored news program,” Listopad said. “But we have to rely on the growth of the academic program. We can’t afford producers and program directors.”
There’s a lot to learn in just doing a newscast. Schmit and Schmidt said they covered the groundbreaking for the Jamestown Regional Medical Center along with the professionals from TV stations in the state.
“We watched the pros do what they do to learn,” Schmidt said.
After the video clip was edited, Schmit said “we compared our work with what they ran.”
The TV staff and the staff of JC’s award-winning newspaper, The Collegian, share news and sports stories. Once a week Listopad said the two staffs meet to talk about upcoming and potential stories. They’re also working on an online version of the two for those who don’t get Dakota Central and therefore channel 16.
“This is an example of the news convergent model and the business convergent model,” Listopad said.
Because channel 16 is JCTV, it’s the TV staff’s responsibility to provide programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Filling the time presents another challenge to the limited staff. Presently, home games in football, basketball and volleyball are videotaped and aired.
“We just shoot the game and a third party imports it and puts it on,” Schmit said.
They’ll expand taping to other athletic events in the next few weeks, Listopad said. However, everything else they videotape has to be edited and refined before it can run.
“Right now our biggest hurdle is we’ve collected all this video and don’t have the people and the time to get them on the air,” Listopad said.
Schmidt and Schmit agreed time and staff are issues, but the two students would still like to expand studio programming. They’re looking at a sports talk show and Listopad said they’ll be adding a weekly movie review program. At the same time the student staff has begun doing some videotaping and editing for outside groups.
“But we only have so many people on staff so we can’t do as much as we’d like,” Schmidt said. “And a minute-long video is days in the making.”
The two students are mass communications majors. They’re both hoping to get into television after they graduate. Listopad said with the diversification they’re experiencing in the still-developing Student Media Center, they will take with them broad-based hands-on training — something most internships don’t even offer.
Schmidt is hoping to land a job in front of the camera. He said his dream is to be an anchor on ESPN. Schmit is also hoping to find a job in the field, he said, but he’s not planning to stay behind the camera.
The broadcast studio and control room of the Student Media Center were funded with a $75,000 donation from Dakota Central, $50,000 from the Friends of Kurt Schork and the rest of the nearly $200,000 from the college and other donations.
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453
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