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Emerson Journalism Studio Gets Fresh Look

Emerson Journalism students will return this fall to a brand new, state-of-the-art broadcast studio, complete with LED lights, flexible design, and professional (and ergonomic) set furniture.

The Journalism Production Center redesign, funded through Television, Radio, and Film (TRF), with extensive input from Journalism Department faculty and students, is the first since 2003, according to manager Alicia Carlson.

“It’s a more flexible space than it was before,” she said.

The anchor desk is surrounded by LED lights that change colors, and monitors display the logos of Emerson’s many student-produced news stations, including WEBN, WEBJ, and the J Channel. The desk itself can be rolled away to allow for stand-up shots and a more dynamic presentation.

“It can be turned into anything, which is really incredible,” Carlson said. “Now every show will look completely different from one another.”

The standard office chairs behind the old set’s anchor desk have been replaced with seats that can be raised high enough for the camera. And over at the interview set, heavy low-backed chairs that discouraged custom arrangements and encouraged slouching on the part of interviewers and guests are gone. In their place is easily movable, high-backed, posture-friendly seating.

Behind the interview area, shots of Boston’s skyline in both daylight and nighttime will give the impression of a soaring glass-walled high-rise locale—all from the sixth floor of the Walker Building.

While the studio upgrades will allow student journalists to grow in their reporting of the news, they also provide a better setting for Emerson faculty experts to share their insight far and wide, said Professor Janet Kolodzy, incoming dean of the Journalism Department, who consulted on the redesign.

The College is now able to transmit live interviews to various media outlets directly from campus, and the studio renovation “really sort of makes it pop,” Kolodzy said. “It’s a space that I believe represents the lively and exciting work that goes on here at Emerson.”

Kolodzy said she envisions the studio as a kind of “communication lab space.”

The new set is getting broken in this month by high school students on campus for a summer journalism program. But Emerson students will get a chance to put their stamp on it in September.

Journalism major Samantha Avalos ’19, who has worked at the J Channel and WEBN, said she’s seen photos of the new set and is excited for the fall.

“I’m looking forward to the anchor desk being able to roll in and out so we can have people standing by a monitor, kind of like they do on sports shows,” Avalos said. “We’ve been talking about how we wanted to use the new studio, and a lot of it was being able to roll the desk away and have it be more interactive.”

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