A new era for Trumbull Community Television

Alison Kuznitz ‘15
EE Co-Editor-in-Chief

As little kids, we all inevitably dreamed of being on television. Unfortunately, many of us never flipped to the to correct channel to realize these dreams actually came true. From elementary school graduations to chorus concerts, all major school events have been aired on Channel 17, or more recently on the town’s revamped education and government access station, Trumbull Community Television (TCT).

TCT is available to Charter customers on Channel 194 and to Frontier customers on Channel 99. As a result of the renovations at Trumbull High School, TCT’s lacking studio in upper No-Name was converted to a state-of the-art facility now located in M-Wing. This upgrade, complemented by a generous state grant, allowed the station to purchase new studio and film equipment. These two factors have not only transformed the image and demographics of the station to encompass Trumbull youth, but opened up countless possibilities for its future as well.

“What used to be called Channel 17, everything’s changed. Essentially, you thought it was this public access television that had content that didn’t pertain to kids,” says C-House principal Mr. Manuel, who serves as the liaison between TCT and Trumbull High School. “…It’s now Trumbull Community Television and they’re doing a lot of cool things that are of interest to young kids.”

First and foremost, TCT’s mission is to link the Trumbull community together. Whether government meetings or Trumbull High School sports games are being broadcasted, TCT simply cannot fulfill its goal unless it reaches a significant part of the population and its targeted viewing audience: students. Perhaps, this message is best represented by the logo of TCT, which was designed by Supervising Producer Mrs. Donna Girot.
“The TCT logo represents the profiles of two talking heads. When joined together they make a happy face. Although visually simplistic, the logo exemplifies that when residents come together to communicate, the result is a better community,” states Mrs. Girot. “Communication is integral to community development.”

TCT is actively seeking volunteers, particularly sophomores and juniors. Interested underclassmen initially become involved with the AV Club, which is primarily known for producing the video announcements at Trumbull High School.

“TCT is recruiting students who want to videotape sports games, school events, town events, and help crew in-studio shows,” says Mrs. Girot. “We also need students who want to develop Photoshop and editing skills.”

Additionally, TCT is constantly looking for original music, typically ballads and other “easy listening” songs, that can be played during Community Bulletin segments.

“Our goal is to offer ‘something for everyone’ – seniors, parents, teens, professionals – so that all Trumbull residents can find something of interest to them,” states Mrs. Kate Donahue, who co-chairs the Trumbull Community Television Committee and handles administrative aspects of the station.
Beyond filming and editing, TCT offers experiences for students who want to be on camera. Through the Eagle’s Eye and Trillium, students currently are able to acquire skills in print journalism only. Yet, with new capabilities, including live-feed technology and a TriCaster system in the works, students can finally be exposed to broadcast journalism. Instead of writing sports articles and snapping action photos, a team of students could be reporting live from McDougall Stadium by the next school year.

As Mrs. Girot comments, “We are only limited by the students’ creativities. You don’t come to me and get a class, you come to me with an individual idea and every road block that you come up against, we work through each road block or we recruit someone to help you.”

Students will be exposed to video editing software, ranging from Final Cut 10 to Premier Pro. Training is available at a student’s convenience with Mrs. Girot or AV Studio Director Mr. Shawn Tait.

Junior Taylor Berlin, who is Vice President of the AV Club and Lead Anchor for the morning announcements, has definitely benefitted from her time spent in the studio. She is now confident with real-life skills, such as using the various technology and Photoshop.

“The new equipment is the same as that being used in major news stations all over the world. It’s made corresponding with the crew during filming so much easier and it really is the best technology that’s offered,” remarks Berlin. “I really want to start more live projects and using things like our drone cam[era] more often.”

If Trumbull High School students are still not sold on the idea of volunteering with TCT, it is important to emphasize the perks of working behind-the-scenes as a videographer. After proving their dependability, skills, and talents, juniors and seniors may be hired by the station. Even though filming opportunities are sporadic, this is counteracted by the fact that employees are paid $15 per hour.

From an administrative perspective, Mr. Manuel is eager to see the interplay between TCT and the curriculum. With so many classes relying on multimedia, TCT is certainly an asset for our overall learning environment.
“Ideally, we would like to see this as a great supplementation to our current curriculum in a lot of different subject areas,” states Mr. Manuel.

In the past year, a Facebook page has been designed (www.facebook.com/TrumbullCommunityTelevision) to present clips of shows that will air that week on television, along with serve as platform for viewers’ programming suggestions. A website has also been designed, www.trumbullps.tv, to keep everyone well informed on community news and events.

The website offers an On Demand “Watch Now” directory feature, with archives and productions dating back approximately two and a half years. “Watch Now” can be accessed at a viewer’s convenience, and it is perfect for relatives from around the country that may want to watch a loved one’s National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, wrestling match, or orchestra concert.

According to Mr. Manuel, “We’re hopeful that this is going to at least change the view of public access in Trumbull into more of a true community extension. And that’s really what we want our school to be – not necessarily just Trumbull High School, but the entire Trumbull Public Schools District and Trumbull Community.”

As the station continues to evolve and explore new creative avenues, hopefully students and Trumbull residents alike will continue engaging with this community-oriented station.

“It’s got an interesting future that hasn’t been determined yet,” sums up Mrs. Girot. “The community wants to see what’s going on with the school and I want to hear your voices.”

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