Student Television in America: Channels of Change

Article excerpt

Student Television in America: Channels of Change. Tony Silvia and Nancy F. Kaplan. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1998. 229 pp. $29.95 pbk.

Student television operations seem to come and go almost as quickly as the students themselves. There have been a number of failed and troubled ventures on both local college campuses and at national student television networks/associations. On the local level, campus stations often become successful when they borrow from successful models. But, there has been a serious lack of documentation to aid in this effort. Tony Silvia, associate professor of journalism at the University of Rhode Island, and Nancy F. Kaplan, assistant professor of communication at Hofstra University, discovered that college broadcasters everywhere were looking for material to aid in station creation and nurturing.

Student Television in America: Channels of Change is aimed at faculty who may serve as advisers to student stations, both in colleges and high schools. Students would also benefit from the book. Student television is defined broadly and includes everything from overthe-air channels, to cable access channels, to video clubs whether extracurricular, cocurricular, or laboratory settings. The book begins with a brief history of student television in the United States. Subsequent chapters deal with the process of starting a station, obtaining funding, staffing, program production, promotion, networking, and perspectives for the future. The book is full of examples, station models, case studies, and sage advice, obtained by people who have previously taken this road.

The authors first met while attending the 1992 conference of the National Association of College Broadcasters. NACB is well covered in this book for its national convention and awards program. However, the National Broadcasting Society/Alpha Epsilon Rho receives little attention here, appearing only in an appendix listing of student television organizations. NBS has been around since 1943 and remains active today. The organization has a strong television emphasis with opportunities for student awards and many good convention sessions for those involved in television. …


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