I’m writing about my concern for the future of our school’s television program, Temple Update. We are currently using equipment that was purchased by the school in 1981. As you know, nothing lasts forever. Our class spends more time troubleshooting equipment problems instead of producing a show. For example, our studio cameras no longer produce an acceptable picture for broadcast. Often, light-skinned people appear as white blurbs on the screens. We can no longer tell if our cameras are in focus because our monitors are no longer sharp. Our equipment, including the monitors, has been running ten-hour days since 1984. Our switcher has also been malfunctioning, to the point where we cannot put on a show. Some of our editing decks still work; however once they break, they will be unusable. Parts are no longer being manufactured; therefore repair is impossible.
You’re probably wondering why you’ve never heard of Temple Update… It’s because Temple took away our TV station, so Temple students on campus can’t even see the show. The show airs on Drexel’s TV station, which is not received on our campus cable system. Temple Update is an award-winning news magazine show produced by Temple students. Dr. Elizabeth Leebron and Richard Beardsley are the two extremely talented, and dedicated Executive Producers that keep the show going.
I chose Temple University mainly because of Temple Update. Many other students have done the same. As a freshman coming to Temple was an intimidating experience. I did not know anyone. I needed to find my niche. I decided to volunteer for Temple Update, since I have previous broadcast experience from my high school.
It’s hard to believe that my high school news program has state of the art, working equipment, unlike Temple Update. The Executive Producers of the show, Dr. Elizabeth Leebron and Richard Beardsley made me feel at home and taught me the essentials of putting together a news package. The executive producers take the time to get to know each student individually. In my 12 and a half years of education, I’ve never met teachers who are so dedicated. They are essential Temple employees, and should be given the necessary tools to teach students professional news broadcasting.
Temple Update has given hundreds of students an edge over students that have not participated in a similar program. When entering a job market, employers want to see what you can do. It is a great disappointment, and should be an embarrassment to the school to have to deal with dilapidated equipment, especially since I am paying so much tuition! There is so much more potential for Temple Update. Temple University is known for broadcast television. We should have the necessary equipment. Temple Update students are learning, but we are also producing a television show that is viewed by many people in the Philadelphia area, as well as several high schools. The executive producers are constantly struggling with broken-down equipment for our benefit.
With the enrollment higher than ever this spring semester, we will try to produce two shows a week. With the condition the equipment is in, it will be a difficult task. When I graduate from Temple, I want to have four years of broadcast experience in a real-world environment. With the way it is going now, this does not seem possible. I hope administration takes this seriously. My future depends on it.