ISU Headlines

Good EZNews for Idaho State University’s broadcast program

Posted September 2, 2011

This summer, the ISU Department of Mass Communication received some good news. Not just any news, but EZNews.

Dean of the ISU College of Arts and Letters Kandi Turley-Ames showed her support of the Broadcast Television program by purchasing the EZNews Newsroom Computer System, a software program developed by Automated Data Systems.

EZNews is a Newsroom Computer System (NCS), the established standard for television newscast production, used in nearly every television newsroom across the country. The program aids in writing scripts, timing broadcast shows to the second, and archiving information for easy recall, among other functions, said Tom Hallaq, ISU assistant professor of mass communication.

EZNews will be used in the Mass Communication's television broadcast labs for a variety of live television/video productions including "Idaho State of Mind," a new public affairs show produced by ISU Mass Communication students in cooperation with the University's Marketing and Communication Department and airing statewide on Idaho Public Television, Hallaq said. EZNews will also be used as a classroom instructional tool for script writing, production cues, complete show building/planning, director training, teleprompter operation and much more.

The EZNews system includes both the software installation onto existing computers already in place at the school and a complete on-site user training session for faculty and students in the Mass Communication Department. EZNews trainers were on campus Aug. 30 and Sept. 1. The training concluded with the production of a mock show to assure all systems are "go."

With current demands placed on broadcast instructors and the limited time available to prepare students, an NCS is the best way to ensure that a well-established news gathering and news production process is followed by everyone on the news team because these productions require a uniquely efficient, effective and and structured workflow that cannot be well performed by unconnected tools.

For productions, the EZNews NCS will facilitate all of the basic integrated newscast planning and production functions including story assignments, script writing/approval/printing, rundown building, show and segment timing, producing, directing, teleprompting and complete show archiving as well as optional interfaces with common production devices such as broadcast quality character generator (CG) solutions.

For educators, an NCS must be both easy to learn and easy to use for the average student because, in a relatively short amount of time, all members of a news team and production crew must be ready to fulfill their rolls and cooperate to produce a well executed and informative program. EZNews will run on standard and readily available "off the shelf" computers, which are already available and in place on campus. The NCS must also be flexible enough for use in both studio production and in-class instruction.

In the classroom, the EZNews NCS allows instructors to teach and students to practice specific broadcast news skills such as news writing, show building, and other required production skills in an open environment.

To inquire about EZNews for your newscasts and other show productions, visit the EZNews website: www.eznews.com, call them toll free at (888) 326-1415 or visit with an EZNews representative in person at any number of upcoming educational trade shows this year.

For a look at EZNews at ISU and a complete tour of the Mass Communication broadcast facilities, contact assistant professor Tom Hallaq at (208) 282-6453 or halltom@isu.edu.

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