by Rebecca Rhodes
Tornadoes, velociraptors and broccoli – Big Times News is not your average news source.
The fall 2016, Journalism 240 class (multimedia reporting) at WVU Parkersburg is filming season 4 of BTN. The show is written, performed and produced by students.
Tyler Malm, a sophomore at WVU Parkersburg, majoring in communication and media studies with a concentration in broadcasting, is the director of BTN.
“Viewers can expect a lot of havoc and lots of laughter. We are just trying to create something real funny for the student body,” Malm said.
On screen are lead anchors Tyler Bennett and Rebecca Rhodes. Russ Bunner is raining down the weather and Leah Carpenter is throwing down the sports report.
Also starring in BTN is Sheena Cox, who is cooking up some goodies, Amber Deeter with Amber Alerts and Josh Hughes, the roaming field reporter.
“Everyone brings their own spark of personality to each character. It is fun to see all the students open new creative doors each week,” Malm said.
While there is much fun to be seen on screen, plenty of hard work goes on behind the scenes.
“From a technical view, the cast is working hard to make sure there is continuity in the script and that we execute it correctly,” Malm said.
On the other side of the camera is Jessica Fields (sound), Mackenzie Nestor (writer) and Tyler Malm (director). Each week, the trio guides the cast, plans the week’s top stories and makes sure filming goes off with a bang.
“It is a wonderful opportunity not only for me, but for all students to work with our classmates to create something worthwhile,” Malm said.
Once the camera stops rolling and the BTN center transforms back into a classroom, it is up to Malm to edit the footage.
“It’s all about piecing together the skits we’ve done into BTN. Just think of it as one big puzzle,” Malm said.
By the conclusion of the course, students will have an understanding of digital journalism and basic reporting and broadcasting skills.
BTN is set to air on the Big Time News YouTube channel.