Sunday, January 23, 2011

RTV News: The Funding Realities

Starting a broadcasting program is pricey. VERY pricey. There are basic equipment costs that have really added up fast.

The overall goal of news program is to have all of the authenticity and hustle and bustle of a real newsroom. I've started to develop the jobs with help from my good friend Jim Billings from North Little Rock High School. I could not have envisioned how a broadcasting program would work without his help. There's a glowing red bat phone that connects our two schools. Sometime in this semester we'll be travelling to Global TV in Edmonton and Newcap News in Lloydminster to get a 'behind-the-scenes' look at the pros.

I've also recently purchased a great resource from Doug Green with has provided some great background info for getting off the ground. Pick up the digital or physical copy today! (Plug, Plug).

With startup and program costs that are quite high I'm looking at creative means to raise funds for those 'essential' extras. We need a backdrop for our set, a communication system, and a second camera that is reliable for the show. There's 300' of BNC cable, a second copy of prompter software and many others little things that add up.

A comment on a recent post of mine tweaked my interest and has now provided inspiration for our fundraising. The idea was for me to incorporate students who are working on Enterprise and Innovation and Marketing credits as part of the news team. Thanks to Maureen Parker for this idea! I've now put in place a sponsorship structure for local businesses who want to provide funds in exchange for advertising on our RTV website, credit mentions at the end of each news show and even logo placement and mentions in our weather each day. Why not have our weather person introduce the forecast "brought to you by local business X"? Students would make initial contact with businesses and would be part of meetings with the 'client' to discuss what our RTV Productions can do for them. Another place for funding would be to contact a local clothing company to be a clothing sponsor for our anchors. A few shirts and sweaters from them would get them a logo in the credits each day.

All news on TV is run on sponsorship. We see it everyday. Without sponsorship for RTV News we won't be able to progress in terms of equipment purchases.

The only downside of this is optics. Should we be advertising on RTV News? Technically the Alberta government is supposed to provide adequate funding for school programming and they tell us this. This is true if your definition of providing programming means putting a teacher in the classroom. My salary is paid for by the CEU generation of students in the classes I teach. I know this a simplified look at funding. I'm not a principal or division leader and I'm thankful that I can have this easy view of funding.

I say yes to advertising. The thousands of dollars extra that are needed have to come from somewhere, and the experience students will have working with businesses in the community to develop sponsorship structures will be a real world application for our CTS modules in enterprise and marketing.

What are your thoughts on sponsorship of our news program? Of any program in schools?

No comments:

Post a Comment