After a semester-long hiatus, CSUN’s news and public affairs program, On Point, is back on the air.
Taped every Tuesday, the 30-minute program offers more in-depth coverage of individual topics than the average news program allows.
“Normally, in local news, you have a minute or two to cover a story,” said CSUN journalism professor Sally Turner, who oversees the production of the program. “What we do that’s a little different is take one story for a half hour and try to look at as many different points of view as possible. We’re interested in reaction from the community, expert opinions and analysis, and in people with a personal story to tell.”
On Point has historically been produced by groups of less than 10 students, but due to demand, the team has expanded to include around 20 public relations, print and broadcast journalism students this semester.
This creates a more dynamic environment, said Turner, with students from each focus adding unique contributions.
“Public relations (students) are challenged with driving traffic to website,” she said, citing an example.
On Point topics range from religion in the White House to proposals to redefine autism. Every show features experts in the field, often from CSUN.
“Any opportunity we can give to CSUN professors to share the work they’ve been doing and share their expertise, we use,” Turner said.
Student producers of On Point work in a bona fide newsroom complete with an authentic news desk and fully-equipped control room.
“There are three cameras for shooting and two ‘Bruce’ cameras (unmanned cameras positioned before taping to capture certain angles), ” said TV lab technician Lincoln Harrison.
Harrison, a seasoned technician, is responsible for operating an elaborate set of technical equipment, including lighting and audio control consoles, tape decks, digital recording equipment and various computers.
He monitors audio and lighting throughout the recording of the shows, making any necessary adjustments and considering details such as how light affects guests’ hair color and complexion.
Turner said the show is a valuable CSUN program, challenging students with developing skills beyond print journalism.
“On Point gives students the opportunity to tell stories through the interview process,” Turner said.
On Point airs on Los Angeles City education access Channel 36, and the programs are available for viewing on their website.