JEM students are once again producing a weekly news magazine called “UT Today” for WBIR-TV in Knoxville. The half-hour program began airing on Sunday Mar. 9 at 11:30 a.m. and runs for 8 consecutive weeks. This is the 20th season of UT TODAY. The program is produced by an Advanced Television News class taught by Professor Sam Swan. This hands-on experience allows students to serve as reporters, anchors and producers for the news program. All television studio production roles are performed by students. Students also produce a LIVE 15 minute newscast daily on UT’s cable channel, TVC. UT Today is produced at The Center for Video and Media at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Professor Swan said, “The program provides opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in a professional environment.” The class functions like a TV news department, with Swan serving as News Director. Stories for the program are generated by students, and then approved bySwan. Students produce stories on state, national and international issues, sports and special features related to the economy, environment and education.
Swan said that UT Today is different from other news programs in Knoxville, because every effort is made to offer perspectives or insights from UT experts on every story. A special segment focuses on UT’s sports programs. The show will occasionally feature stories about faculty and events at UT that are of special interest to viewers throughout East Tennessee.
UT Today is the only program of its kind in the nation that offers its students the chance to write, report and produce for a program that is broadcast on a local network affiliate not connected with the university. UT Today was named the best student newscast in the state by the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters Association in 2013