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GSU broadcasting students get hands-on experience with professional cameras and broadcasting van

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Posted: July 14, 2007 4:08 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    The students in Georgia Southern University Professor Kent Murray’s class don’t use pencils and paper. Instead, they’re working with multi-million dollar equipment.
    Earlier this week, students were able to see what it was like to work in a professional broadcasting van along with several network quality cameras. The $3 million van was rented and parked outside Paulson Stadium to allow the Communication Arts students some hands-on experience in the ins and outs of broadcasting elements, including graphics, audio, tape, cameras and production.
    Overall, students will spend an intensive four and a half weeks taking the class in preparation for producing the television broadcasts of home Georgia Southern football games this season against The Citadel, Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina University.
    “This training experience teaches students how to do network quality productions,” Murray said, “It gives them the experience they need to go out and be freelancers if they want to.”
    Most students are confident the class gives them an advantage over other students who have never had training outside the classroom.
    “You definitely learn more here than in the classroom or from a textbook,” said senior broadcasting major Amanda Pacheco, “It gives you more advantages and more experience.”
    Students agree that experience is everything in broadcasting, because, as senior Sienna Sewell said: “They’re not going to sugar coat it in the real world.”
    The class has already allowed one student to pursue freelance broadcasting work. Last summer Ohki Komoto, a dual major in broadcasting and biology, took Murray’s class on a whim. He was then able to cover two GSU basketball games using what he learned.
    “The class is basically the same thing as a professional job,” said Komoto, “This is the best experience and every broadcasting major should do it.”
    Although they are confident that they will be able to handle the upcoming games, students say that the thought of live coverage is nerve-wracking.
    “It’s very scary because if you mess up it’s on national television,” said senior Chealsea Harris.
    Murray said he plans to continue teaching the class in the future, and hopes to purchase a used broadcasting van instead of renting one each summer.
    “A new van runs at about $3.5 million, but the company that we’re working with is willing to give us a used one for a very reasonable price,” Murray said, “A new van would benefit the students as well as the community. The university would be able to rent it out and make money, and students could use it year-round as an educational tool.”
    For now, students will continue to learn using the rented van. And they promise their coverage of GSU football games won't disappoint fans.

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