FAMU-TV clamors for student viewership

When it comes to students viewing Channel 20, better known as FAMU-TV, many students have expressed that the programming on the campus station could be better.

“I only watch FAMU-TV if it’s an event that I missed on campus,” said Samatha Christian, 21.

Christian, a senior fine arts student from Miami, continued, “but I don’t watch it often because I don’t enjoy the acoustics and resolution of the programming in comparison to other channels.”

A major reason why FAMU-TV can be described as lacking popularity among the student body is due to the lack of student produced programming. According to Professor Ernest Jones, director of FAMU-TV, “a lot of students have good ideas, but once they become involved they find it takes too much time.”

The faculty is happy and willing to assist anyone who has an interest in learning to produce a show. They encourage anyone who is interested, whether they are a journalism student or not, to drop by and fill out a volunteer form. Jones wants to encourage students to participate because “this channel is a voice they can use to express their views. They can extend their voice past the boundaries of campus and into 96,000 households.”

The type of programming plays a large role in attracting and maintaining viewers.

“FAMU-TV needs more programs and they need to get their channel quality up to par,” said Deanda Ewers, a senior elementary education student.

Ewers, 21, who is from Rammstein, Germany, believes that channel quality could increase the viewers that watch the station.

However, students may not be fully aware of what exactly FAMU-TV has to offer.

FAMU-TV is a 24-hour educational access channel that runs programs geared not only to the university, but to the community as well.

Established in 1994, the station offers a variety of programming ranging throughout its daytime and evening sequences. A typical daytime sequence begins at 8 a.m. and runs through 7 p.m.

Faculty and students produce shows such as documentaries. Instructional math, science, French, and Spanish telecourses are also geared toward improving and enhancing the knowledge of college students as well as upper-level high school students.

The evening sequence, which begins promptly at 7 p.m., features events occurring around FAMU’s campus, weekly news broadcast, highly acclaimed documentaries, programs produced by member of the community, and culturally rich programming.

In addition, the evening sequence also includes nationally syndicated college programming such as Think Talk and Reel Reviews.

Juanita Hayes, the interim director of the Division of Journalism in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, said she is proud to profess to be a habitual viewer.

“I like the cultural aspect, and the documentaries. They are programs you won’t find in prime time slots,” Hayes said.

In an effort to attract and retain more viewers, surveys will be issued throughout campus inquiring as to what type of shows and events students, faculty and staff would like to watch when they flip the channel to FAMU-TV.

In addition to more sports coverage, this spring students can look forward to community programming such as NAACP Speaks, Straight Talk, a cooking show entitled Capital Dish, and a new magazine news show entitled FAMU Edition.

Journalism Professor Kenneth Jones emphasized the fact that FAMU-TV is “the way the community views the university.”

James Hawkins, dean of SJGC, said “the new studio will be ready for production in two weeks, and will allow students the opportunity to hone and polish their journalism skills.”

Hawkins said, “we’re happy to have it and we’ll be able to do impressive work.”

Contact Gheni Platenburg at famuannews@hotmail.com