Casey County High School is now on the air

December 08, 2003|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - Four, three, two, no you messed up!

Four, three, two, one, you're on the air.

That's the instruction coming from Beth Patterson, production manager at WREB-TV 12, from the control room to the cameraman in the news room, while a film was made to promote a reading program at Casey County Public Library.

Casey County's first television station went on the air in November in two small storage rooms in the high school library. The station is manned by 11 students in a media class under the direction of librarian Dale Hoskins and Kathy Goode, technical advisor.

The television programs are aired over Access Cable Television of Somerset, which provides service to the county, according to Roy L. Baker, president of the cable company.


Casey County is the third county to have a TV station up and going on Access, said Baker.

"As soon as we mention it, people get interested," Baker said.

While the programs are aired over the cablevision, the kids do all the work, said Baker. "The production originates here," he said.

"They (students) have taken it and run with the idea," said Baker. "All we do is provide the mechanics to get the program out into the community." He said most communities have talented people who can help with the project and "kids love technology. All you need to do is give them the opportunity and they can produce. You can't ask for a better group."

Baker said the TV crew can do live broadcasts anywhere and play it later. "They can do live basketball games, pageants, and other activities."

Cable TV has always been a friend of education, Baker said. Cable in the Classroom promotes free programs in schools and free services and community-type programs plus equipment to schools.

"We see this as another extension of the program," Baker said of the new station. "If we're going to make a living in a county, then we have to return something. School systems are our way of doing that."

Baker gives all the credit of the new cable station to the students. "They've done it," he said.

The kids said they could not have gotten on the air without Goode.

"We wouldn't have been able to do anything without Kathy helping us," said Rita Dixon, promotions director.

"She helped us hook up," said Rex Delk, general manager.

Goode does not think of herself as a teacher, only as a person who shows the students what to do, then let them do it.

Dixon and Tyler East, anchors for WREB-TV, also are in charge of various other programs of the small station. Dixon is promotions director, coordinates the production to TV, print, radio and Web press releases and advertisements which promote the station. East is set designer and studio photographer, and is in charge of all set design and construction, from news to backgrounds to talk show sets. He is one of two camera operators for all shows taped in the studio.

"It was slow going at first, but we've had interviews about every day this week," said Delk, who thinks this class will help him get into college and will be good for a resume when he begins looking for employment.

"I'm not doing it for fun," said Delk. "I'm glad to have the opportunity because I want to go into broadcasting. This gives me a step ahead."

He said it's hard to do everything that is needed with only 11 students in the one-hour class, and much of the work is done after school and on weekends because the students are involved in sports and other school activities.

All have multiple jobs. Heidi Freidl, a foreign exchange student from Germany, is a reporter and videographer and does special assignments . Others in the crew are Dustin Vest, news director; Barry Burton, programming /traffic; Patrick Helm, technical director/engineeer; Brad Baldock, master control/assistant news director; Justin Gamble, lighting designer/lead news photographer; Tyler East, set designer/studio photographer; and Coty Vaughn, assistant programming director/photographer.

Biggest setback was equipment

When organizing the station, the biggest setback was equipment, said Dixon. The Board of Education has helped with finances and equipment. A dream of the crew is to have an observation window between the two rooms so it is easier to monitor the broadcast.

"We're the founding fathers," said Delk, who likes being a celebrity. In October, the station started a promotion of the TV crew and features each on the local channel.

"When I walk down the street, people will say 'I saw you on TV,'" Delk said. But that was after the program had been cleaned up a bit.

"The first day on the job was crazy," Dixon said. "We were awful when watched the first production." However, things are getting better with more practice.

The class has also made the crew more aware of TV broadcasts.

"I watch TV differently now," said Dixon. "I look at the total package and how other people broadcast news."

The students also use the Liberty and Danville newspapers to get ideas for newscasts, Hoskins said. "We want to have a school and community-based TV station featuring local people," she said.

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