Student-Produced Show Features Local Events
Two SUNY Oneonta Mass Communication students are producing a new monthly TV program highlighting events in the Otsego and Delaware county region. “Community Spotlight” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Channel 23. It is also accessible on Vimeo or via Facebook.
The first episode features segments on two popular February events: the Community Arts Network of Oneonta’s annual Chili Bowl and the annual Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith. The second 30-minute episode will premiere Wednesday, April 3. Topics include a visit to a local maple farm, a look at SUNY Oneonta’s new Film Club, and excerpts from student-produced documentaries on Brooks’ Bar-B-Q and the local debate over hydrofracking.
Seniors Kara Olney and Will Racaniello are producing the program as an independent study course. They handle every aspect of the production, including coming up with topics, conducting interviews and filming in the field, editing video, writing a script and hosting the show.
“Developing ‘Community Spotlight’ from an idea to a complete production has allowed my students to apply all of the skills they have learned here at SUNY Oneonta,” said Jared Stanley, the college’s TV/video producer and the adviser to WIRE-TV, the student-run TV station on campus. “From producing and interviewing to editing and graphic creation, they will have a demo reel piece that they can use when applying for jobs in the industry.”
With the nearest TV news affiliates in Utica and Binghamton, Olney said “Community Spotlight” helps to fill a gap. “Unless something major happens, this area doesn’t receive the news coverage that it necessarily deserves,” she said. The show also brings a little piece of the community onto campus, making students more aware of events and organizations they might want to participate in. “It’s a really good way to kind of integrate the campus and community,” said Olney.
Racaniello said producing a 30-minute show from start to finish is challenging, but it’s one of the most valuable and engaging academic endeavors he’s undertaken. ”I don’t see this as work,” he said. “This is fun.”