GREENSBORO, N.C. – A state-of-the-art TV and photography studio that will put Bennett College journalism students on the cutting edge of media production will be unveiled on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
During the Journalism and Media Studies Department’s unveiling, attendees will be allowed to tour the new set that will be used for classroom activities and programs produced by the student-run Belle Media Group.
Lighting design for the new studio was completed by a company whose clients include CNN, ESPN and CNBC. The studio includes a modular, Bennett-branded news set that can be configured for anchored news programs, talk shows or stand-up presentations. It also houses a professional lighting grid and space for photography and green-screen video shoots.
“There is so much potential here,” says Tamara Jeffries, interim chair of the Journalism and Media Studies Department. “Our students are always coming up with innovative program concepts, and this is going to give them a great space to get those concepts piloted and produced.”
The new studio was the brainchild of Keonte Coleman, dean of Bennett’s Division of Professional Studies. Coleman is a former TV news producer.
“Our students deserve to work in a professional environment,” Coleman says. “This multipurpose studio will help remove barriers for the young women we serve now and those we’ll serve in the future. Additionally, the studio will send a clear signal to our Belles that they can compete with their peers from across the country and that Bennett’s Journalism and Media Studies Department will ensure they are career-ready when they graduate.”
Department officials spent last fall working with several North Carolina-based companies to complete the studio, which is housed in The Julianne Malveaux Journalism Building at the corner of Bennett and East Washington streets.
The physical structure was created by TV Set Designs, a Charlotte-based company that has built sets for MTV, NASA, University of Michigan and others. The lighting design was completed by Barbizon Lighting Company, whose clients include news organizations as far away as Dubai and Russia. Greensboro-based Imagine Design & Production Services Inc. was also instrumental in the installation.
The upgrade was completed with funds from a federal SAFRA grant designed to strengthen physical and academic resources at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“The JMS department equips our students to collect media using DSLR cameras, a state-of-the-art drone, digital audio recorders and personal cell phones,” says Assistant Journalism Professor Tom Lipscomb. “They also stream live events to YouTube and edit media using the Adobe Creative Cloud. The studio will allow us to package important stories from the campus and the community and deliver them to the world.”