After a month of blank screens, the GWTV news channel recently began broadcasting “The Source,” a news program created by a School of Media and Public Affairs class. The GWTV student organization’s members have blamed the sparse programming on inadequate University support and poor interest. A student-run television channel is a valuable resource that should not be wasted. University administrators should at least expand the number of classes that produce GWTV shows to increase the channel’s content and quality.
Over the past several years, GWTV has produced lackluster programming with quality akin to a high school audio-visual department. Thus, it is not surprising that there is a lack of both interest and funding for the network.
A functioning TV network could be a benefit to the GW community and especially students interested in professional broadcasting. Ideally, it would serve as a learning laboratory for media students to generate professional-grade programming.
The current use of GW classroom resources to produce “The Source” has yielded positive results. The news program is a model of a professional broadcast show and gives students in the School of Media and Public Affairs a chance to learn about broadcast media and distribute their product to the GW community. This model should be repeated with other broadcast-focused classes.
Some current GWTV members complain about a lack of interest in the channel. Part of the problem with GWTV is that viewers are forced to watch the same few repeating shows. Increasing the number of classes that produce content for television would generate more programming and increase visibility.
More classes in SMPA focused on contributing to GWTV would give more students interested in broadcast media the opportunity to gain valuable experience. Professors who are knowledgeable in the field could help students produce high-quality programming that would provide a sense of learning and satisfaction with a tangible product. This kind of experiential education in the Media programs is essential after the end of the electronic media major two years ago.
The availability of a television channel to GW students is a great resource and should not be wasted. Increasing the number of classes producing shows for GWTV would not only help generate more interest in the student group and network, but it would also serve as a valuable outlet for students seeking media experience.