Broadcast Journalism Program Joins the Satellite Age

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Glance up from the campus parking structure and you'll notice an addition to the PLNU skyline. A new satellite dish was recently installed to allow Point Loma students Broadcast Journalism students access to the full resources of Cable News Network (CNN).

The Atlanta-based CNN makes its news feeds available free of charge to more than 100 universities nationwide. This is not the CNN programming that home viewers see, but the hourly raw news feeds that go out to television stations around the world for use in their own newscasts.

In addition to the raw video, students also have access to script material online and if necessary, live breaking news.

The video will be used primarily in the Television News class where students present live newscasts each week for the campus audience. This class is the senior capstone experience for 30 students currently enrolled in the Broadcast Journalism major.

“This partnership with CNN puts incredible resources in the hands of our students,” said Randall E. King, co-advisor, Broadcast Journalism. “They’re using the same raw materials professional stations use to produce news programming. When we put that together with good editorial judgment and hands-on training, it greatly enhances the credibility of our graduates.”

PLNU had an agreement in place with CNN more than a year ago, but the greatest difficulty was finding the right location for the type of dish required. Fortunately, Physical Plant director Richard Schult was willing to allow access to the plant building near the parking structure. This will also be a likely site for future dishes as the campus installs cable television service for all students.

Network Services manager Robert Joslin has also been especially helpful in finding the location and setting up video cables to bring the signal back to the television studio in Ryan Library.

Consulting engineer, Rad J. Corn, who assists KPLR, completed the final dish installation in early October. Students expect to access CNN material by the end of the month.