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The Oracle, TBN launch collaborative journalism project

The Oracle and the Titan Broadcast Network (TBN) will be collaborating on future projects and stories in the form of a joint venture project. According to broadcast teacher Edward Corpuz, both programs have wanted to do this for quite awhile. “I’ve been working with [The Oracle adviser Kristy] Blackburn for the past seven years,” he said. “In our conversations, we always mentioned how what The Oracle and TBN do is very similar; we’re both journalists. I thought it would be a great opportunity for students to experience interdisciplinary work.”

At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, the first collaborative effort as part of the joint venture was launched, with all of the graduating seniors featured in the senior issue of The Oracle also featured in short videos created by TBN. The latest video was on the Gunn Orchestra and its trip to Chicago, news which had a corresponding story in the November issue of The Oracle.

Other projects in production include videos promoting The Oracle’s new Aurasma capabilities and a video corresponding to the college app stress story of the November issue of The Oracle.

While broadcast and print journalism are very different, they can both supplement each other, according to Corpuz. “The Oracle has the ability to have a lot more detail and research,” he said. “For broadcast journalism, the detail isn’t there, but it does provide the audio and visuals needed to tell a story; it gives us another angle.”

According to The Oracle News Editor Cooper Aspegren, to make the collaboration smooth, the videos will all be featured on specific TBN segments. “We’re airing these videos in correspondence with the segments on TBN,” he said. “For example, we will screen the orchestra video on ‘The Lifestyle’ show and an Aurasma promotion will more likely than not be aired on ‘Tech.’” Aspegren said one of the goals is to have the framework of published The Oracle stories correspond to the framework of TBN’s daily broadcast.

According to Aspegren, while the concept is simple in theory, actually making a joint program is difficult. “We’re trying to communicate with each other in a more effective fashion and make a streamlined effort so that it isn’t too complicated to work between staffs,” he said. “This is more challenging than it sounds.”

Another difficulty Aspegren mentioned is figuring out which videos are relevant to air on TBN. “That’s the tricky part,” he said. “TBN has high standards for the kinds of videos that can be presented, so not just any video can air.” Corpuz believes some of this coordination difficulty is due to the difference in schedule, as TBN meets during zero period and The Oracle meets during F period.

Additionally, there is a small overlap of students who participate in both campus journalism organizations. One of these students involved in both TBN and The Oracle is reporter and TBN Sports anchor senior Lena Campbell. She thinks that while TBN and The Oracle are both journalism programs and similar in many ways, it is still challenging to find a way to communicate between them both. “Both programs [TBN and The Oracle] have their own way of doing things,” she said. “Trying to know and work with both of them is definitely challenging.”

While some aspects of the joint venture are challenging, Campbell is still excited for the opportunity it presents to members of both the TBN staff and The Oracle staff. “It’s a better way to experience journalism in the real world,” she said. “Today, journalism is blending all the different aspects of it together, including video, print and more.”

One of the goals of the joint venture is to have promotional videos before each issue of The Oracle releases. This me sure, according to Aspegren, is to get students excited for the release of the following issue. “Oftentimes, students are surprised when we distribute that brunch,” Aspegren said. “We want to change that for the future, so that we feel like we’re more connected to the entire student body.”

According to Blackburn, both TBN and The Oracle applied for the Out of the Box grant in 2013 to create a multimedia journalism program. This grant program was designed to help encourage interdisciplinary classes or programs on school campuses. Although the grant was not awarded to TBN or The Oracle, Blackburn and Corpuz decided to see what progress they could make with a joint venture.

Just beginning to take its stride, the joint collaboration looks promising for the future of Gunn journalism. “I don’t think that we have a specific goal or The Oracle has a specific goal here,” Corpuz said. “It’s not going to make TBN or The Oracle better individually, but as a collaborative it will make the journalism program at Gunn stronger.”

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