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At work in the studio are (left to right) Kristin Bartel ’19, Eden Lund ’18, and Brian Strack ’18.

Student-Run Video News Service Builds Audience on Campus

There’s a new way to see what’s going on at St Norbert College. Literally. GreenKnightTV, broadcasting from the college’s state-of-the-art studio, is the college’s first campus-specific video news operation.

Formerly known as Knight Talk, GKTV is the brainchild of recent graduate Bryant McCray ’16. A pioneer at the time of its inception in 2014, the student-operated station underwent a rebranding last summer. McCray and a few classmates combined their efforts and appealed to the student activity fee allocation committee to purchase equipment. From there, studio space was allotted and the organization was formed.

Reed Shallue ’17 has taken up the reins of GKTV since McCray’s graduation last spring. The communications and media studies major began working in the organization as a sophomore. He says, “I didn’t have much experience in television, but I wanted to learn the ropes of TV.”

Shallue’s experience of completing an internship alongside McCray as they undertook a Washington Media Institute semester in 2015 provided the younger student with additional necessary skills to take on leadership of the student-run TV station.  

Shallue now leads a dedicated staff, with the college’s staff visual media production manager, John Devroy (Communications), serving as advisor. Devroy explains, “Some students are interested in editing or shooting, while others want to take on reporting duties – very much like a real news organization. Students are picking areas of interest and concentrating their attention on those particular areas. Their enthusiasm is contagious!”

Devroy can draw on his own background in television news as he encourages the staff to put together the best possible packages.

Shows, shot either on location or in the studio, are taped to be released within 24-48 hours. First the footage is shot. Then the unfinished “package” is reviewed by Shallue, who teaches the student staff member how to edit the video for a finished product. That tweaking can take time, he says. “I want a good product, but it doesn’t help them if I do all the editing. Balancing schoolwork and GKTV can be tough because it does take a lot of time to put professional-looking work together to then produce and broadcast out to our audience.”

It’s definitely a balancing act, though Shallue enjoys every second that he has in the studio. He hopes that soon the team can get a routine down, planning for specific shows always to be released on a certain day of the week. (For our readers off-campus, shows are available on the group’s YouTube channel.)

What might interested viewers hope to find on GKTV? Since the channel’s main audience is the SNC student body, the needs and interests of the students are at the forefront. Topics must be approved by Shallue, but any topic of interest is fair game for proposal. Miss your favorite Cubs game? The Chicago Corner can keep you up on the latest athletic scores and highlights from the Windy City. Get your weekly dose of curds and whey while staying abreast of the Pack with Cheesehead Central. Gather ideas for updating your Burke closet (rather your Burke double!), or other housing digs, on SNC Cribs. Keep up on campus news and Green Knight sport teams via SNC All Access.

Popular topics to date have included SNC Football Kicks Off Conference Play, SNC Day 2016, and Career & Internship Fair.

What’s next on the horizon? Shallue says, “We’re thankful for the space and equipment we have, but we’re expanding a little bit more each semester. We plan to expand to outside shots when the packages require it, or if we are looking for a new shot.

“Feedback received via GKTV’s social media sites, Facebook at Greenknighttv and Twitter@GreenKnightTV, has been great so far, and we have had a gigantic increase in our social media popularity since the beginning of the academic year.” 

Oct. 4, 2016