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FSU-TV3 Students Go Live and on Location to Cover Frostburg Events
10/11/2016

FSU-TV3 Students Go Live and on Location to Cover Frostburg Events
FSU TV-3 public relations manager and student Cesi Taboada, center, holds a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone her team uses to broadcast live at events for #TV3onLoc. The team includes, from left, Derrick Leftwich, Abbey Rigney, Taboada and Dominique Elias.

When you see students from FSU-TV3 covering a live event, you won’t see a satellite truck or a hulking TV camera over their shoulders.

Armed with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, a lavalier microphone and determination, a small crew from the student-managed TV channel is venturing out to chat with people at Frostburg events. The interviews are edited on the spot and posted immediately on TV3’s social network profiles.

It’s part of an initiative to tell TV3 viewers and social media fans about what’s happening right now in Frostburg. The idea was the brainchild of senior student Cesi Taboada of Bowie, who is the public relations manager for TV3. Using her own phone and own microphone made specifically for smartphones, she wanted to elevate the TV channel’s reputation and coverage.

“If we interview people, not only can we see what they’re doing and promote them, but they can see who we are and we can connect with them on campus and in the community,” said Taboada, who majors in mass communication and minors in public relations.

The coverage increases awareness about TV3 and the events the students cover.

“Our focus right now is getting the word out about TV3,” said field producer Abbey Rigney of Hampstead. Rigney, along with Derrick Leftwich, pitch in operating the camera and are field producers for the student-run “The Frostburg Experience” on TV3, where they also hope to reuse some of the event footage.

To tie the live and on-location concept together, the team came up with the hashtag #TV3onLoc to brand the experience – a nod to being both “on location” and “on lock,” or under control. The posts can be found on Twitter and Instagram @fsutv3 and at Facebook.com/FSUTV3.

“It’s so easy to make a video and post it to Facebook or post it to Instagram nowadays, so why not do that?” said Rigney, a mass communication major and audio and video production minor.

TV Magic

Already the team has covered Cruisin’ Main Street, the Block Party and Frostburg 101: Taste of the Town. The crew broadcast on Facebook Live at the Appalachian Festival and expects to use a mixture of recorded and live broadcasts in the future.

How does the magic happen? Behind the scenes, Taboada edits the recorded interviews on her Samsung phone using Samsung Video Editor, uploading clips to various social networks on the spot. The crew constantly discusses different camera angles to use with the phone for variety, how to resolve audio and lighting issues and how to improve the end product.

“It allows me to learn how to be quick on my feet,” Taboada said.

While TV3 has cutting-edge equipment in the control room and studio, scheduling conflicts for other student-produced shows exist and the channel lacks the equipment to make roving remote live broadcast manageable. Besides, in today’s media landscape, it’s not uncommon to see a reporter use a phone to shoot video for TV in a pinch.

New tools from social networks that place an emphasis on video, especially live video, are working in TV3’s favor, too.

“It just provides them further opportunities to utilize social media platforms,” TV3 Manager Melanie Lombardi said.

Lombardi has noticed the students’ public speaking and teamwork skills improving with each broadcast, helping prepare them for their careers.

“It looks really good on their résumés that they are out working these events,” Lombardi said.

At Ease

Student reporters and producers often have anxiety talking to strangers for an interview, and these social media interviews help ease that trepidation. The friendliness of Frostburg also makes interviews a pleasant experience.

“It’s easy to talk to people here. Everyone is so friendly here,” said Rigney, who helps to identify people to interview for the segments and scouts shoot locations. “No one really pushes you away.”

In front of the camera, Dominique Elias brings energy, talking to anyone from festival organizers, vendors and everyday people navigating the events. Researching and covering the events make her feel more connected to Frostburg, and she finds herself advocating to friends to come out and check out what’s going on.

“You truly become connected with the event because you have a full understanding of what goes into the production,” said the Silver Spring resident who would love to work for E! one day.

The programming helps build on what’s being taught in the classroom, added Elias, a mass communication major and public relations minor. “This opportunity really allows me to hone the skills that I’ve learned for four and a half years and put them to use and see the work come to life.”

Expect to see #TV3onLoc next at FSU’s Homecoming Oct. 20 to 23.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.

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For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu