Lights, Camera, Action: New TV Studio Opens

Update Crew

A large green screen spans the wall behind the wood and glass anchor desk, which was donated by NBC Bay Area (School of Journalism and Mass Communications image).

Next time you watch the student TV news program “Update News,” you’ll be catching more than just the latest news stories.

You’ll see a crisp, high-definition picture, next generation LED lighting, professional graphics and a sleek news set – all made possible by a new technically advanced studio.  The facility will be used for all kinds of video productions.

Students can practice being on camera on a professional set for delivering news, making commercials, even an audition tape. It’s wonderful,” said Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi.

Students are producing “Update News” in the new space now, and will begin taping the PBS news magazine “Equal Time” there this semester. Studio and Engineering Manager Juan Serna says with new skills, “students can leave here and get a job” in the profession.

Master control room and studio

Crews gutted the 30-year old analog studio, and built the new structure from scratch in 2014. The facility has two rooms: a 420-square-foot master control room, and a 900-square-foot studio.

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

Photo: Christina Olivas

The master control room is the operation’s central command center, containing large HD monitors, a multi-camera switcher, news computer system and a motion graphics system.

The studio is where the anchors sit. A large green screen spans the wall behind the wood and glass anchor desk, which was donated by NBC Bay Area. Three Sony HD cameras sit in front of the news set, and an LED light grid hangs overhead.  Both rooms are handicap accessible.

The new technology and advanced facility is allowing students to produce the same high quality newscasts that professional broadcasters do. They can create professional newscasts including shots from other locations, write copy with sophisticated newsroom software, and create motion graphics to help tell their stories.

Open for business

The $800,000 studio was paid for by an $8.7 million dollar endowment from the late Jack and Emma Anderson.  Guerazzi says, “the endowment was an amazing gift. So needed.”

Photo: Christina Olivas

Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi and Studio and Engineering Manager Juan Serna. Photo: Christina Olivas

The journalism school plans to work with other SJSU departments and outside groups. It wants to generate enough revenue from projects to pay costs and for advances over time. For now, the value for media students getting a unique, hands-on learning experience is priceless.