CBC & WRAL Outfit & Upgrade Digital Media Lab at Barton College

WRAL-TV logo

“Steve and I quickly understood that Barton has assembled an outstanding and passionate faculty, especially for a small private school.  …  They are still blown away by what they are able to do through the control room CBC donated to the program.”
– WRAL-TV Documentary Photographer Jay Jennings

Barton College Media Lab
Dr. Patrick McConnell, Chair of the Barton College Department of Communication and Performing Arts, works with students in the WRAL.com Media Lab.

Capitol Broadcasting & WRAL-TV have once again enhanced the learning for future broadcasters at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina, with gifts of equipment and knowledge.

In 2008, CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon saw a need for upgraded digital equipment for the students in Barton College’s communications program.  Through his guidance, Capitol Broadcasting gave funds to create the Phyllis Parish Howard Television Control Room, named for the WRAL-TV Director of Local Production, herself a Barton alum.  While attending the dedication, Goodmon got a peak at the nearby outdated media lab and another idea was born.

CBC, through the CBC/WRAL Community Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation recently made a significant gift towards the school’s media lab.

“I am thrilled about this second gift for Barton College!” said Parish, who is on the school’s board of trustees.  “The new WRAL.com Media Lab, coupled with the renovated control room, brings Barton’s teaching facilities up to industry standards. Thanks to Jim Goodmon, Barton’s Mass Comm students now have excellent equipment to help prepare them for successful careers in broadcasting and media.”  

Barton College has a broadcast/video production concentration available to students in the mass communications program.  Because of CBC’s gift, the program is being able to complete its transition to high definition, a new industry standard.

The new equipments includes Mac computers and Final Cut Pro software.

The gift funded six new editing bays, twelve new workstations, and upgrades for four existing workstations.  The equipment and software upgrades include new Mac computers and Final Cut Pro software.  Students will now be current in the field when they graduate from Barton.  The changes will not only help current students but will help Barton attract more mass communications majors.

CBC not only provided the financial gift but sent two of our top editing experts to share their knowledge and experience with Barton students and faculty.

WRAL-TV Digital Media Administrator Steve Elizondo and WRAL-TV Documentary Photographer Jay Jennings talked about a variety of topics and answered questions.

“I was excited Steve and Jay could visit Barton and share their Final Cut knowledge and editing expertise with the Broadcast/Video Production majors,” said Parish.  “If you spend much time with Jay or Steve, you know they both produce excellent work.  But that’s not all…they are also great storytellers!  So, I’m sure the students and professors learned lots of helpful editing tips, while also enjoying some fun stories about the broadcasting industry!”

Elizondo enjoyed his trip to the campus.

“I am very excited to see a great school like Barton be able to take such a significant step forward with the resources in their communication department,” said Elizondo.  “The tools the students have access to now are the perfect foundation that Barton can use to get out on the cutting edge, and stay there.”

Barton College Media Lab
Barton students work on the new equipment and software provided by CBC & WRAL-TV.

The pair was impressed with the new facilities.  They first toured the Phyllis Parish Howard Television Control Room.

“It wasn’t long before they showed us their new pride and joy, the brand-spanking new media lab,” said Jennings.  “This new lab is spectacular.  The sixteen new iMacs were fresh out of the box.  And they have the latest media software, including Final Cut Express.”

The pair spoke to a group of students about their college education, how they came to work at WRAL-TV and what they do at the station.  They also got to show several examples of the kind of TV production they do at WRAL.

“They asked a lot of great questions about all sorts of topics,” said Jennings of the hour-and-a-half session with the students.  “The time just flew by.  We could’ve easily interacted with the students for another 90 minutes.”

Jennings and Elizondo spent lunch talking with professors and administrators about the future of the Barton communications program and the many possibilities they now have due to the upgrades. 

“They’ve got all the tools they need to really challenge their students creatively, and start publishing digital content for multiple platforms, just like we do at WRAL,” said Elizondo.

Barton College President Dr. Norval Kneten took part in the day’s events.

The Phyllis Parish Howard Television Control Room
In 2008, CBC & WRAL funded the creation of The Phyllis Parish Howard Television Control Room at Baron College with new new digital equipment and upgrades to existing equipment equipment and upgrades necessary for both the teaching facility and television control room. Read the capcom story:

“As we were leaving, Dr. Kneten asked me to sum up our visit and the direction of the Mass Communications program,” said Jennings.  “I told him that Barton is poised to make a huge move.  I compared it to a baseball team that has the bases loaded with no outs.  They just need to drive in the runs.  The table is set for something big in the next few years.”

Kneten also sent his thanks back to CBC.

“We are grateful for the generosity of Jim Goodmon and the CBC/WRAL Community Fund as they continue to support the College’s commitment to provide the best in engaged experiential learning,” said Barton College President Dr. Norval C. Kneten.

It’s definitely a new age for Barton College.

 “Now the students in the communication school can do virtually anything they can imagine, which is awesome!” said Elizondo. 

Thanks to Barton College’s Carolyn Brown for these capcom photos.

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