New set, other updates come to VU Broadcasting



Anchors report the news during a recent newscast in the newly renovated studio.

Kirsten Jansen, Photo Editor

The new set includes video screens in the base that can be changed with each news broadcast. [photo by Kirsten Jansen, photo editor]
If you have walked through the first floor of Davis Hall here at VU, it is likely you have noticed quite a few changes made all around. The paint on the walls and doors have been refreshed, the office area has been redone and painted, but the biggest change is the set in Studio A and the equipment in the studio as well.

When it came to the old set it had been in the WVUT’s set for at least 15 years. The studio was long overdue for an upgrade and an overall new studio look, according to Nichole Carie, director of operations and general manager of Vincennes PBS. 

“WVUT, which is a PBS member station, re-branded as Vincennes PBS last fall and this new look was a major step towards completing our rebranding effort and moving us into the future,” Carie stated when asked about the set upgrades and the need for it.

Now you may be wondering where this set came from. Carie answered this as she was actually the one who designed the set. The process was full of researching several set design 

companies and going through each one to see how good their work was. “I spoke at length with them about what my vision was and studied how their past projects and their current pitches could align with what I was envisioning,” she said.

The company that fit the most qualifications was, and thus was the one they chose to complete the project. The set Carie envisioned was larger so that it would easily morph into different looks to accommodate all the productions that take place in the studio. This includes the student newscast “Newscenter”, the public affairs program, “First City Focus” and “Meet Your Legislators.” The set needed to be able to be used by multiple people at one time.

 The really unique aspect of the desk is that the anchor desks separates into five different parts which allows for multiple on-air looks along with the computerized color schemes, lights that change and motion graphics as well. Along with the beautiful new set there is now a large set of windows in the hallway so that those who pass by can look in and see the new set and the production going on.

The set has created a new atmosphere for the student newscast, as the students are excited to be in productions that use the new set. 

“The new set, along with a new on-air graphics package, has elevated our on-air look by leaps and bounds,” Carie stated.

Carie says that seeing the finished set was satisfying because she was able to see her vision that she has had for a few years come to life. Not only that, but everyone’s reactions have reassured her that the set was exactly what they needed in the studio to get people excited again.

You might be thinking how does all of this work with COVID-19 and social distancing rules, well luckily this set is perfect for that. According to Carie,

“I didn’t know it would be needed at the time, but the way the new anchor desk is designed, it allows us to keep with two student news anchors for Newscenter. The anchors are at least six feet apart, so they can each be at the desk and still social distance.”

Not only this, but it helps with camera placement and operators to be socially distanced as well.

“So the new set is definitely a blessing with all the new protocols we have to follow to keep everyone safe,” Carie said.

“I feel that Davis Hall, and especially our on-air studio, is now a great show piece for Vincennes University, as well as a great recruitment tool for our Broadcasting program.” Carie said.

The broadcasting program also received funding for new editing computers, additional studio cameras and equipment related to the studio programming that they do. Although their biggest change as a program, according to Broadcasting Professor Eric Stidman, is the approach to learning. Due to COVID-19, the hands-on environment has changed because of restrictions and guidelines that must be followed in order to prevent the spread. Due to this, getting students in to work on the equipment is imperative.

“Exposing students to industry equipment is critical. Seeing this challenge in the era of COVID-19 social distancing: we have maintained on campus classes with a number of precautions to ensure student and instructor safety,” Stidman said.

Although these changes are great for the program, it is not possible to see how the changes may direct the larger narrative for the broadcasting program and the future. That will not stop the program chairs and professors from teaching and furthering students’ knowledge towards the field of work.

“I can say with certainty that our students and our program are on an upward trajectory,” Stidman said.

If you’re looking for a degree or just starting your time here at Vincennes University definitely check out the new set and stop by and meet the staff behind the broadcasting program. You might just find a new interest or even a new major.