E-Media students are no strangers to being behind the camera, but once a year they get the chance to be in front of it.
Former WLWT anchor Norma Rashid offers her expertise ---coaching students on their hosting, anchoring, and reporting techniques. Rashid, an adjunct instructor, says that while students are nervous at first, by the end of the quarter they are much more adept than they had expected.
Though the majority of students have listened to broadcast news and radio, few have first-hand performance experience. Introduction to E-Media Performance (16EMED225) helps students improve their speaking skills both on camera and off.
“Everyone knows how to talk,” says Rashid, “but not everyone knows how to speak.”
The class focuses on getting students to become more confident in front of the camera as well as become more self-aware. For example, in everyday conversation, certain body gestures (such as looking to the side while thinking) are excusable. In front of the camera, however, even the most mundane movement can look glaringly out of place.
“If you watch any newscast, pay enough attention and you’ll pick up on small tics. Getting rid of tics completely is a hard thing to do, but it’s possible to make them less obvious with some effort,” notes Rashid.
Students also get a feel for a TV studio environment – students rotate from being in front of the camera to taking control behind the camera. Students are required to operate cameras, the teleprompter, the video switcher, and act as floor directors, among other duties.
Students come from all backgrounds – some love radio, some love television, some love sports, and others just want to improve their speaking skills. Projects in the class range from simple newscasts to interviews and mock commercials. Some of the projects offer either a video or audio option, which allows students to gain experience in front of the camera or behind a microphone.
The course has no pre-requisites, but as with most E-Media classes, past knowledge and skills are put to good use. Not everyone is going to become a star, but everyone will leave the class with a better grasp of the broadcasting field.
Intro to E-Media Performance is on the schedule for Winter quarter 2012. It will also be offered by Professor John Owens during summer 2011. The class is not part of the semester curriculum but elements of it will be present in two semester offerings, Studio Production and News Writing and Production.
Written by Daniel Merhar, January 2011