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Journalism Radio Broadcast Courses Assisted by New Management Tool

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October 24, 2002. The Radio Broadcast Content Management System (Radio CMS) is a database driven solution that models the decision-making, review, and editorial processes of radio broadcasting, managing the steps journalism students follow to organize a live broadcast composed of numerous news stories. Each broadcast is then archived and distributed through a simple web page front-end. This tool greatly reduces the technological burden on students, helping them focus on learning high-quality radio reporting, writing and production while modeling the editorial process from idea to distribution.

Radio Webcasting has been the heart of the radio program at the Columbia School of Journalism since the program was redesigned in 1996 around NPR-style production techniques and journalistic principles. Radio training is intended to develop descriptive and narrative writing techniques for those who intend to go into radio or television. Students produce webcasts as a part of the following courses: Reporting and Writing for Broadcast (RW1/Broadcast), Radio Workshop, Documentary, and Masters Project.

Radio CMS organizes the work flow of a production cycle for reporters, producers, and instructors starting with the initial story pitch to the generation of a web page of the archived broadcast which contains a series of story leads and links to the audio files. Within this cycle, the executive producer reviews the list of available stories from the radio reporters -- assembling a set of stories that make up the live broadcast while the webcaster adds and edits elements such as story introductions and teasers.

The assembled set of stories make up the broadcast which is then published in three different forms. Once with teasers for the upcoming broadcast, once during the live broadcast and once after the broadcast is recorded and archived.

RadioCMS was produced in collaboration with John Dinges, professor in the School of Journalism. Kristen Sosulski, educational technologist for CCNMTL, led the project development effort and was assisted by a team consisting of interface developer, Zarina Mustapha and Anders Pearson, who developed the database and programs for RadioCMS. Numerous other staff members were contributors to the project.

Radio Broadcast Content Management System

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