Just underneath Binghamton University’s lecture halls, students, faculty and staff can reach millions of people through the University’s new Live Broadcast News Studio.
In Lecture Hall B90, a new studio is equipped to tape and source interviews from BU to major television networks around the world. Ryan Yarosh, BU’s senior director of media and public relations, said the studio was created because news outlets frequently reach out to BU faculty and professors to speak on topics and look for live, remote interviews with them. With the new studio, the BU community can connect with some of the world’s major broadcasters at the push of a button.
“Previously, when news outlets reached out to our faculty, we accommodated their requests for a live interview by using Skype and a laptop computer, which is not preferred by a majority of broadcasters,” Yarosh said. “For example, when CNN recently called to speak to a history professor about escalating tensions in the Middle East, we utilized this rudimentary setup — not ideal, but we made it work. This is commonplace.”
According to Yarosh, faculty who were interviewed were often sent to nearby studios at Cornell University and Syracuse University, given there was enough time to set up the arrangements.
BU’s new studio is equipped with ReadyCam, a videography system used by television networks such as CNN, BBC, NBC and PBS to tape interviews and air them around the globe. The equipment is controlled remotely by staff from VideoLink, the video production company and system in charge of ReadyCam.
The equipment includes a high-definition camera system, professional sound mixing systems, digital backdrop, headphones, amplification systems, LED lighting, broadcast microphones and a web portal that allows VideoLink to control interviews remotely. VideoLink acts as a liaison for the University and the media, handling bookings for on-air broadcasts. The studio and its equipment were provided by donations from Roger Mills Gilbert, ’76.
Casey Staff, BU’s video producer for University communications and marketing, works with the Live Broadcast News Studio to create commercials for broadcast and social media purposes and records interviews with faculty. She said the best part of the new center is having the ability to share current research.
“The ReadyCam studio technology allows us to broadcast high-quality video content live to networks nationally and internationally,” Staff said. “Now we have the convenience of handling all media requests in our studio, and doing so allows our department to share the exciting research taking place here at [BU] with the world.”
According to Staff, students will have the opportunity to work as student assistants or interns and help with studio and video operations. Sophia Cavalluzzi, a current intern for the office of media and public relations and a junior majoring in English, works to match up BU faculty with reporters looking for experts on specific topics. She said the studio is a necessary addition to campus that will provide students interested in videography and media opportunities to gain experience.
“[The studio] will allow us to have more of a presence and a new type of presence in the media and national community,” Cavalluzzi said. “It’s great connecting our experts to reporters, but it’ll be a great addition providing an opportunity for them to film things, do interviews … Hopefully, some interns will eventually be dedicated to just the media space in the lecture hall, since BU doesn’t offer much for those who want to go into that field.”
The studio will also be open to community use for a fee.
In addition to creating new opportunities on campus, Yarosh said the studio increases exposure and promotes faculty research and expertise.
“This project is significant and aligns with the belief that the great achievements of our students, faculty and staff should be celebrated and shared with the world,” Yarosh said.