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Focus on U pushes forward despite lack of video equipment

February 18, 2015

There are many organizations on the campus of UW-River Falls, and all of these organizations attract different kinds of people. There are clubs for marketing communication majors, psychology majors, for people who are interested in astronomy, and then there’s something called “Focus on U.”

Focus on U is something that has been around for quite some time, but not many people on campus know about the student media organization. This is a student organization where the students themselves produce a newscast on live television.

Although it seems to be a journalism or digital film and television organization, there are also many students who have different majors who are part of Focus on U. Altogether there are 15 students in Focus on U, all of whom play an important part and only five of them are digital film and television majors.

Being on television is not as easy as it sounds. There are many steps to creating a show and there can be many problems. According to Travis Kronk, the editor and treasurer of Focus on U, every package producer (a person that puts a single story together) has two weeks to get a story and video together for the on-air showing that happens every other Thursday.

This semester, Focus on U is trying to put people into teams, where they will have a technical person (someone who knows how to run the camera and all the equipment) together with people who want to be onscreen, and writers, who write for that single package story. The reason being for this is to produce better content. Focus on U also has its own YouTube channel called “FocusOnUTelevision,” where they post all its videos.

Although this all seems easy, there are always obstacles. One that is affecting the whole campus now is the budget cuts. Focus on U has been trying to get another camera that the package producers can use to create stories. With the budget cuts, it has been a challenge to get the equipment needed to make progress at Focus on U.

“If we’re not making progress and if we’re not advancing as an organization, then why have an organization?” Kronk said.

To get a camera would have been a huge help because Focus on U has only one camera for all of the package producers to use. If the camera is being used by someone else, then everyone else has to wait on their story until use of the camera becomes available. With these budget cuts, Focus on U has had to hold off on trying to get another camera that would be progress for the organization.

The camera that is used now is an older camera that does not have the quality that the organization needs. Students in Focus on U use their produced videos in a folder to help potential employers see what they can do, but with such an old camera, the quality is not up-to-date.

Although there are obstacles in creating video stories, Focus on U has figured out how to create a better quality news stories. The organization continues to make progress and will be airing its first episode of the spring semester on Thursday, Feb. 19.