IU student television to premiere 5 new shows next month
3 years after start, student-run station doubles in size
By Kyle Meehan
In a little under three years IU Student Television has grown from a freshman's dream to a developed organization whose work can be seen by thousands of students each year. A spring program lineup released by IUSTV details five new shows that will be added in the next month, doubling the size of the station and broadening the opportunities available to aspiring journalists and entertainers.\nStudents interested in anything from the local feline center to the intricacies of limestone ranching could tune into "Cruise Control," the first of several new programs to be shown on IUSTV. Four students host the show. Along with a crew of about 15 volunteers, they spent last summer exploring the hidden jewels of Monroe County. IUSTV staff edited the hosts' peculiar adventures in the fall and prepared them for the program's November debut.\n"Slow Children at Play" is a sketch comedy show produced by the telecommunication department and is the only program taped and edited outside the IUSTV studio. In late February, IUSTV will begin airing episodes taped semester in preparation for the premiere of two new episodes being edited right now.\nFor intramural sports enthusiasts, there is "On the Edge of Your Sport," which premiered last Thursday. This sports journalism show tackles intramural, club and the underappreciated varsity sports on campus with a combination of studio highlights, feature stories and insider interviews.\n"Snapshot" will debut in the middle of March. "Snapshot" is based on the premise that every one of the thousands of students, professors and employees of IU has at least one interesting yarn to spin or adventure to recount. Every program will show different people telling a particular type of story or an entire episode might feature one person's funny or interesting tale.\n"Rate Your Plate" will air the first week after spring break. The show will explore the best dining locations in Bloomington as determined by a survey open to all students at the IUSTV Web site. Each episode will look at a different style of cuisine and the three most popular eateries in that category. The show will expose many smaller restaurants to the IU student body.\n"Student Production Spotlight" is now in the developing stages. Beginning in April, the program will showcase class media projects that students spend hours creating but otherwise would have been forgotten after receiving a grade. Telecommunications professors and other faculty have already begun suggesting exceptional work conducive for the television format. \nIUSTV Executive Director Kieran Farr founded the station three years ago when he discovered as an IU freshman there was no outlet for the short films he enjoyed creating with friends. The progress of IUSTV has been slow and the result of hours of hard work. The first year was spent clearing administrative hurdles necessary to set up the infrastructure of the station. \nLast year "iStudent News" was the first program produced by the IUSTV to air on campus television. In the spring of 2004, IUSTV presented its first entertainment show and biggest hit, "Hoosier Date." Since then, Farr along with Programming Director Anthony Leong and the rest of the growing staff have been hard at work building on the success of these shows.\n"Last year I used to spend five or six hours editing on Sunday mornings," Farr said from the IUSTV office, which was bustling with activity and excitement as the pilot for "On the Edge of Your Sport" premiered. \nJust a year ago the organization had little exposure and few volunteers because "Hoosier Date" had not yet premiered and "iStudent News" was shown only once a week. The lack of volunteers kept the production times long and the workload heavy, discouraging many busy students from volunteering, Farr said. Since then, the station has drawn dozens of volunteers to its temporary offices in the Ashton Quad. \n"Now (that) there is enough people to balance out the work, more people allows for a more relaxed work environment," Leong said.\nThe more comfortable work environment encourages busy students to submit their own ideas and volunteer. Students do not have to sacrifice five hours every Sunday morning to contribute, Farr said. Students can log on the IUSTV Web site and submit their idea to the growing station. \nIUSTV has prospered despite a skeleton budget, but that limitation might soon change. Recently, Farr presented the successes of IUSTV to University officials in a bid to get University funding, which could be used to upgrade the tools available to the station.\nAmid IUSTV's growth, the dedication and creativity of the student volunteers remain the most important part of IUSTV programming, Leong said. He said the station is not about to rely on fancy CGI effects or high-tech set designs to produce good television. \n"Really if you can just get a group of people together who want to have fun and make a TV show," he said, "good things happen." \n-- Contact Staff Writer Kyle \nMeehan at firstname.lastname@example.org.