Friday, April 27, 2007

Move over Medill...interactive television at Ball State

Ball state in Indiana is taking journalism to a different level. The university has an Interactive Video Design course that combines computer science and journalism graphics students to produce an interactive news television broadcast-live! The newscast aired at the Center for Media Design at Ball State Thursday night.

According Vinayak Tanksale, a Ball State Computer Science instructor who oversaw the students that worked on the project, the newscast allows viewers to control the content of the show. The results and feedback seem promising. The software and design Ball State students created allows viewers to pause and shrink live television to see related content, check stock quotes or scan news tickers for more stories. People are also able to go online and customize what information they want to see, such as local weather and sports scores

Apparently some media companies in the United Kingdom are using similar technology to create this interactive type of T.V. news, but the concept is fairly new in the United States.

We want to prove that interactive television can be done on deadline, on a daily basis," instructor of journalism Jennifer George-Palilonis said. "This broadcast is a really great way to move forward and inform the industry."

John Dailey taught the course and noted that the 25 students who worked on the project exceeded his expectations.

"[Interactive television] gives you ownership of your television again," Dailey said. "With television now, you just sit back and watch while someone else drives the content."

Does Medill know of this?? It is obvious our program is retiring its traditional ways of teaching journalsim, preaching the "Medill 2020", multimedia approach...but should Medill start teaching and producing interactive television news? Maybe--if it's the next big thing in television news.

But that is the real question, if interactive television news will take off. Will people want to be more involved in their T.V. watching? I question if Americans will jump for joy over interactive news on their T.V. sets, or if they will want to continue to sit back and zone out in front of the tube.

Check out these other interactive television websites:


At Friday, April 27, 2007, Blogger MW said...

On the one hand, I'd like to think that interactive news COULD give reporters more freedom because they won't be so concerned about shaping their stories to a broad audience (that is, why bother reaching for someone outside your base audience when they'll probably de-select your story based on subject matter alone?). On the other hand, if a wide audience is still the name of the game, it could go the other way, with reporters facing more pressure because their employers can quantify how many viewings their stories get with more precision.

In other words, I have no clue what this means for the future. Any takers?

At Saturday, April 28, 2007, Blogger AJS said...

Good for Ball State, but whenever I think of it and TV together, I can't help but remember this.


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