Lights, camera, action!

Feb 072011
Authors: Vashti Batjargal

Tension grips the room as the CTV crew prepares to shoot. Most of the staff stands silently in the dark, as the anchors sit in brightly lit desks waiting for the show to begin.

“The anchors feel the pressure the most, if they screw it up it reflects poorly on the station,” said Chris Jacobsen, an associate chief editor for CTV.

As the semester progresses, the production time decreases, the crew begins to produce live shows and the team falls into place.

This occurs only after staff members undergo vigorous requirements to learn how to use the complicated equipment. It is then that students can actually take on assignments.

However, with the implementation of JTC 490: Studio Production, this process is a little easier.

The Department of Journalism and Technical Communication at CSU introduced the one-credit class in fall 2010 with the intention of teaching students the necessary skills to immediately begin working at CTV.

The idea is to make the transition a seamless one for students to have the skills to go into a TV studio and perform.

Approximately half of the 14 students who completed the course did just that, according to course instructor Mario Caballero, while the other half are using their newfound skills for individual projects.

“(Students) need to do more formalized training in the studio. (JTC 490) is an opportunity for them to learn,” said Caballero, who is also the general manager of The Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, to which CTV belongs.

The course has a different approach and a different goal than a traditional high-level academic course. It’s meant to be more hands-on, according to Journalism Department Chair Greg Luft.

“(Employers) are looking for more multimedia journalists. You have to be more of a whole package,” said Cristal Rubi Silerio, a journalism major and social media director at CTV.

Silerio was enrolled in the first JTC 490 workshop in fall 2010 and valued the class for the training on the production side of broadcasting.

“I’ve been on the desk, but (JTC 490) taught me how to work some of the equipment: the turbo and the switcher,” Silerio said.

After getting familiar with the equipment, Silerio started working the turbo, which is the machine that imports video, during her shifts at CTV.

The course currently serves as an experiment for the department and, depending on funding, is a model for other, future courses that could include videography and web design, Luft said.

Staff writer Vashti Batjargal can be reached at

About the Class:
JTC 490: Studio Production, a one-credit course
Introduced in fall 2010
A hands-on course that teaches students the skills they need to work in a TV studio

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