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Student electronic media projects showcased

audiolab_t.jpgBOONE—Production projects by students majoring in electronic media and broadcasting at Appalachian State University are showcased on the Internet, giving others the opportunity to view or hear their work.

“For years, we have been getting really great work from the students in the audio and video production classes, but it has been difficult for anyone outside the class to see or hear their work,” said Kevin Balling, who teaches video production classes in Appalachian’s Department of Communication. “The Internet provides a venue to showcase these works.”

Adam Hicks and Steve Smith_t2.jpg Adam Hicks, a recent electronics media/broadcasting graduate works on an audio project with lecturer Steve Smith. (Photo by university photographer Marie Freeman)

Students in the electronic media/broadcasting program take a five-course production sequence that builds the skills needed to work in the profession.

Students begin the sequence by taking audio production courses taught by Steve Smith.

“They first produce various commercials, public service announcements, news wraps that include a voice over with actualities and a four-minute feature,” he said. Students in Smith’s advanced class further develop their skills by producing a three-minute story told only with sound effects and music, news features, a full soundtrack for video and a 10- to 15-minute documentary.

“They learn the level of production that is typical at production houses, ad agencies or independent audio and video companies,” Smith said.

Students next take a TV studio production class, followed by Balling’s video production classes. Students in his intro class complete three projects while students in the advanced produce one comprehensive project during the semester.

“Students develop their own ideas for their video,” Balling said. “They all start from a story that exists. We don’t do fiction. The content ranges from news and documentary to personal narratives.”

Work highlighted at includes a video which received the National Grand Prize in the “feature” category in the National Broadcasting Societies’ student competition and a project that received a $2,000 second-place prize in a competition held in New York City.

National award winning audio projects are currently featured on the site, including a commercial, a North Carolina voter education public service announcement and profiles of Appalachian storytelling, the Junaluska community in Boone and the 100-year history of 4-H in North Carolina. All were award winners at the Broadcast Educators Association National Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas. A 60-second commercial project that was a Radio-Mercury Award national finalist in New York City and a first-place documentary at the Collegiate Broadcasters Incorporated National Audio Awards in Kansas City, Mo., are also featured on the site.

Balling and Smith said only the best projects will be posted to the Web site.

“It creates some competition between the students and is a motivating factor for them to produce some good work that can then be seen or heard by anyone with Internet access,” Balling said.

“We have some really outstanding students,” Smith said. “Our graduates are working at national media companies such as NBC’s Saturday Night Live, CNN, HBO, and XM Satellite Radio, as well as North Carolina television and radio stations, including WBT and WCNC in Charlotte and WFMY in Greensboro.”