College of Communications, PCN partner to launch news bureau

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The College of Communications at Penn State and Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) have partnered to launch a Centre County Bureau on the University Park campus, creating the only newsroom for a statewide network on a college or university campus in Pennsylvania.

The bureau, located in the ComMedia facility at Innovation Park, will be staffed by two student interns per semester. The students have the chance to learn the inner workings of newsroom production, from research to shooting and editing footage for use on air at PCN.

Students selected as the program's first interns are Cassandra Hom, a junior from Lafayette Hill, Pa., and Alexandra Marzella, a sophomore from East Brunswick, N.J.

The College of Communications currently operates a 24/7 newsroom at the all-digital, high-definition facility where students produce news programs and webcasts, including the “Centre County Report” that airs on Campus Cable and on WPSU-TV.

"We're excited about our partnership with PCN," said Doug Anderson, dean of the College of Communications. "We are particularly pleased that our students will profit from the partnership, just as we are pleased that the relationship will enable PCN to provide even stronger coverage of events and newsmakers in this region."
"In 1979, PCN began with an educational mission that used cable technology to offer distance learning making it one of the first in the nation to offer such a public service. Now it is even more exciting to see us move into this educational partnership which marks yet another first," said Brian Lockman, PCN president and CEO. "It's a wonderful opportunity for our network to expand its coverage and bring events of statewide importance from Centre County to those throughout the state."
Under the arrangement, Penn State faculty from disciplines across campus and the University will have more opportunities to share their knowledge through guest appearances and interviews on PCN programs.

"ComMedia exists to create professional opportunities for our students both on-air and online. This is a win-win situation for both PCN, which will be able to provide coverage in an important part of the Commonwealth, and our students, who will have opportunities to cover events for a statewide audience," said Thor Wasbotten, assistant dean for student media and online operations.
The bureau opened during the week of Sept. 12.
The College of Communications is the largest nationally accredited journalism-mass communication program in the country.  It offers baccalaureate degree programs in advertising/public relations, film-video, journalism, media studies and telecommunications; a master's degree program in media studies; and a doctoral program in mass communication. It also houses seven institutes, centers or research labs, as well as a strong array of special programs and endowed lecture series.
PCN is a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization funded by cable television companies. Network programming is distributed on more than 150 cable systems in Pennsylvania. PCN receives no state or federal funding. A complete listing of PCN affiliates and network channel designations may be found at online.

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Last Updated September 22, 2011