After years of black television screens, SMU-TV is on the air.
Students in journalism professor Carrie Criado’s mid-level broadcast reporting class produced a 30-minute Sept. 11 anniversary special within the first two weeks of classes.
Charter Cable on SMU-TV (channel 7 on campus and channel 9 in the Park Cities area) will broadcast the commemorative segment in a 30-minute continuous loop through the weekend.
The class is the first to employ the digital broadcast technology in the university’s new digital newsroom. A gift from the Belo Foundation funded the newsroom.
Professor Criado was extremely excited that her class had the opportunity to use it first.
“This was the first major attempt by the journalism division to create something not just for the class but to provide a service to the community as well,” she said.
Reports on the broadcast range from the president’s popularity ratings to airport security to the wave of patriotism that swept the nation after the attacks.
Senior broadcast journalism major Hillary Heard was anxious to get hands-on experience in the field while shooting her story.
“I liked to get out in the real world and talk to people about the tragedy and see how it affected their lives,” she said.
Despite the demanding deadline, most of the students enjoyed piecing their stories together.
Senior broadcast journalism major Michele Reese said the hard work paid off in the end because it gave everyone a chance to broadcast in front of a lot of people and to start establishing names for themselves.
“The anniversary special not only showed what is going on in the SMU community, but what is going on in SMU journalism, as well,” Reese said. “Our journalism school is on the rise.”
Dusty Matthews, general manager of Charter Communications, is thrilled that for the first time in six or seven years, SMU’s channel is active again. Matthews said there are great benefits to an exclusive SMU channel.
“It has the ability to override consumer programming and have something special just for SMU students,” she said.
With the addition of a new digital newsroom and all-new technology and equipment, the possibilities for great programming are endless, Criado said.
“The anniversary special is a giant step in the right direction,” she said.