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ICTV was awarded best regularly scheduled local news program in the 2004-2005 New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association College Competition for its February 22, 2005 edition of Newswatch 16. The Newswatch team included Aaron Inver ’06, producer; Ana Liss ’07, news director; and Kristin Paciorkowski ’05, director.

Judges commented that the Ithaca College newscasts “were strong with local focus that extended beyond the boundaries of the college…The ICTV news team examined a variety of important college and city of Ithaca issues with very credible results.”

Special Mention for best news story was awarded to Kelly McPherson ’05 for “Prospect Street Conflict” which aired on March 24.

ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards | 7 Comments |
The following comments are the opinions of the individuals who posted them. They do not necessarily represent the position of Intercom or Ithaca College, and the editors reserve the right to monitor and delete comments that violate College policies.
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ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards Comment from msimon3 on 07/11/2005
With all due respect to the students that dedicate their free time to Newswatch 16, I must say that as a program in general, it is rather shoddily produced and the fact that it continues to win awards puzzles me.
I certainly do not want to hurt anyone's feelings, but Newswatch is a badly made show that is awkward and uncomfortable to watch. The anchors do not seem to be informed on anything they're saying, and the number of technical errors I've seen broadcast is baffling. Granted, it is a show run by students who are in the process of learning, but there are shows on ICTV that are better produced and more interesting than Newswatch, yet they go unnoticed nearly every year. How Newswatch 16 has managed to stay the darling, flagship show of ICTV is rather suspicious.
With more informed enthusiasm from its anchors and closer attention paid to detail, the show has the potential of being an informative and intriguing nightly newscast; instead, we get to watch general clumsiness met with occasional dead air.
Given the quality of the Park School and its excellent facilities, Ithaca College deserves a superior news program. The students who work at Newswatch should not be misled into thinking that their show is spectacular by an award given for a single broadcast.
They should know that a significant number of students are greatly dissatisfied with the product that ends up on Channel 16 every night.
ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards Comment from cholyok1 on 07/11/2005
My posting is a response to Matthew Simon ’06 and his comments regarding the ICTV show NewsWatch 16, posted inches below an announcement congratulating them on their hard work and QUALITY of the broadcast.

First, the fact that he considers the program as “shoddily produced” is simply appalling. Sure, there are off-nights, and sometimes the product may not be generated at the quality the staff desires, but producing a show of this category requires at least 12 or more hours of work per news day, not even counting the time needed for story planning and off-day reporting. Additionally, I believe it is worth mentioning that a great number of the producers and directors have gone on to flourishing careers in markets that are hardly “shoddy.”

“The anchors do not seem to be informed on anything they're saying, and the number of technical errors I've seen broadcast is baffling.” Again, sir, the station NewsWatch is run on is ICTV—simply put, an EDUCATIONAL access channel. The show is meant to be used as an educational tool; mistakes will be made, and the staff recognizes such errors with understanding and a uniquely hard ambition to correct these pitfalls by 8 o’clock on the following broadcast night.

Next, Mr. Simon explains that he senses some sort of conspiracy as to the frequency of awards that NewsWatch receives. He goes on to state that “there are shows on ICTV that are better produced and more interesting than NewsWatch, yet they go unnoticed nearly every year.” I understand his viewpoint, but in a different context. You have to realize that ICTV 16 produces and broadcasts a variety of shows which incorporate many different genres and categories. To say a show is less interesting than another displays ignorance of this fact. Sure, if a comedy or music program has more visual appeal and entertainment value than another of the same type, it is worthy of critique. However, NewsWatch 16 is the only news program on the channel; therefore, I submit that a person who finds the show “shoddy” or “boring” doesn’t care much about the news being read in the first place.

Plus, did it ever occur to Mr. Simon that NewsWatch is a live, real-time production, whereas most other shows are taped and edited, taking a week or more to finally get over the airwaves? Of course not. This is real programming, and as one well-respected 2005 graduate would describe it, “seat-of-your-pants broadcasting.”

I agree with Simon that the Park School has much to offer, providing excellent production services and a vehicle to project a student's ideas or concepts to the outside community. To suggest that such a difficult program to produce would not be worthy of mention is to deny the reporters, anchors, producers, directors, and the MANY students that make this show possible recognition for their long hours and hard work.

ICTV is a great opportunity for anyone, Parkie or otherwise, to create their image and send it to your television set. I, for one, am proud of NewsWatch as well as all the other programs that make it onto ICTV. I'm sorry that Matthew is "greatly dissatisfied with the product that ends up on Channel 16 every night." Well, come try to create something better. Simply put. The energy and sweat and creativity that each student puts into this station and its programming makes it one of the best in the nation.

Keep up the good work, everyone. Don't let people's negative remarks sway your efforts.

I hope, sir, that you will abstain from further criticism of this program and leave the many other award-winning shows alone. Let them celebrate. Please do not add your negative comments to any other blog concerning the recognition of awards again.

Thank you for your time.
ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards Comment from rcalley1 on 07/11/2005
I work on newswatch and am not really surprised by Matt Simon's response. We did encounter a lot of technical problems this year mostly because newswatch took on a lot of new people, including myself. It takes a lot of work to put that show up on the air but I'm not at all offended by Matt's remarks. What I am offended by is how Cody took so much time to write back such a negative response.

It is easy to take things too seriously when you're working on a program that has won an emmy or more recently this award - but when you get right down to it Newswatch 16 is there for us to learn.

That said this year's shows will draw on what we learned last year and will no doubt be much improved from a technical standpoint. Matt I appreciate your comments as they show what an average viewer might think of Newswatch.
ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards Comment from msimon3 on 07/11/2005
This is a response to both Cody's and Ram's comments about my comment concerning the quality of ICTV's Newswatch 16.

In my comment, I made it clear that my criticism of the show was not a personal attack on anyone that worked on the show, nor did I write it simply to be negative.

While Cody was making his point, he only reinforeced mine. By going off on the amount of work that goes into the show, the fact that it's the network's only news show, the number of people work who dedicate their time to it, he only highlights the fact that given the amount of time, energy, and resources put into Newswatch 16, it should be much, much better.

Ram completely understood where I was coming from. My comment was not an attack on anyone. It was constructive criticism. As an average viewer of the show, my opinion, as well as the opinion of other students, is important and should be heard. In fact, I can't think of a time when ICTV has asked the students of Ithaca College what we think of its programming.

Finally, to suggest that I am wrong to have criticized of Newswatch 16 or any other show on ICTV is completely inappropriate and appalling.

I'm going to abstain from any further comments so as not to start a "comment war". Thank you Ram, for understanding, and good luck.
ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards Comment from kpacior1 on 07/11/2005
I would really like to start out saying that there really is no need for this type of debate, especially when the initial posting was made to the Intercom in a congratulatory sense. This is not the venue to be posting such negative things. If there are people out there who have a problem with the way things are going at ICTV, make your voice heard to those who work on ICTV, not in the schools widely circulated newsletter. I’m very sorry that the fact that Newswatch 16 was recognized for an award offends Mr. Simon so much. The fact of the matter is this. This show, along with the award winning show that Mr. Simon was a part of (Thirty Minutes) continually have the opportunity to be entered for awards all the time. These are competitions between our station and other college stations out there. Plainly stated, competitions are judged and winners are picked accordingly. Regardless of the fact that Mr. Simon sees the work of Newswatch 16 as “shoddy” and “a badly made show that is awkward and uncomfortable to watch,” the judges of this competition felt that it was the best showing of skill of all the entrants.

Secondly, being a four year alumni of Newswatch 16 and 2 year executive staff member of the show I must say I am all to aware with the warranted/ unwarranted hostility that this show must combat from students working on other ICTV shows. It has been my experience that students tend to be petty and biased toward Newswatch 16 because there is this belief that it is the golden goose of ICTV. Yes, it does win a lot of awards and for good reason, but so do other ICTV shows. There is no reason to be fighting within this organization. It is a learning tool and I regret that Mr. Simon has to show such hostility toward our good fortune. What Mr. Simon also does not realize, because he failed to do any sort of research on what goes on at Newswatch 16, is that although the three days of coverage are grouped under one name they all contain different crews, reporters, etc. Just because Newswatch (insert day of the Week) has “general clumsiness met with occasional dead air,” does not mean that Newswatch (insert other day) has those problems.

Students throughout ICTV spend obscene amounts of time trying to do their best while juggling classes and other shows. They all try to do their best and sometimes it just doesn’t work. At Newswatch, we critique every evening in an attempt to better ourselves and are continually trying to improve the look of the show. If so many students are so dissatisfied with the product that comes on ICTV every night, remember this is a volunteer organization and anyone (regardless of major) may lend their efforts to make it more palatable. Mr. Simon, I’m sure if you branched out to see what is on the other side you’d realize what I did 4 years ago: Newswatch 16 may seem scary, pompous and unwelcoming but if you give them a chance you see that it’s just a group of hard working students who crave a challenge and want to do their best. Mr. Simon, I invite you to give it a try.

Personally I am glad that Newswatch doesn’t look perfect every time. We are always trying new and difficult things and that means we’re learning and trying to do better. If it was perfect every time then it would just mean that we’re being lazy and content with our skills as they are… not trying to expand on them. If you don’t take risks, you can’t be the best. You’ll make mistakes and that’s ok. We’re here to learn and be proud of our accomplishments, not to be knocked down because some of our attempts at the technically improbable have failed.

My crew works hard and I should not have to defend my right to be happy about receiving such an award. I think that Cody did the right thing in pointing out the shortcomings of Mr. Simon’s argument and standing up for a show with a talented cast and crew.

I’m aware that being a graduate, I am no longer a part of ICTV, but I have the right to defend its reputation. I would just like to say to those who look angrily toward Newswatch: It doesn’t hurt to give it a chance. Don’t knock it till you tried it.

For those of you who have already taken the plunge: There is always going to be hostility toward this show. Let that negativity feed your desire to be better. Working with you for 4 years was amazing and rewarding. You are all talented. Maybe if you’re lucky, Mr. Simon will be joining you next year in an attempt to make ICTV even better.
ICTV wins NYS Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards Comment from nbrown1 on 07/12/2005
So here’s my two cents in the matter. Well, for the second time at least. Last night I spent over an hour typing a response that probably was longer than Kristin’s and it accidentally got deleted as I was typing the last paragraph. Needless to say, there’s a hole in my wall that needs to be fixed. Anyway, here is an attempt to restate my long and convoluted post.

Matt, I am so happy that finally someone has had the conviction to say what you said, with as much maturity as you said it with. I am sorry that Cody and Kristin took offense to it. Basically, I agree with you in principle, but not in practicality. Let me try to clarify that.

The Newswatch staff is the hardest working staff on ICTV. Having spent the amount of time in the newsroom doing non-news related things that I have, I know how much time the news producers spend putting the show together. When I got there on Sunday mornings at 11, to put together my show, which taped at 3, there were always at least two people putting stories together for an 8 p.m. show. I’m sure this is the same for Tuesdays and Thursdays as well, not to mention reporters doing field pieces on off-days.

The sheer amount coordination to be able to supervise news, sports, weather, field pieces, and then add graphics, music, videos, etc, is overwhelming.

Saying this, however, Newswatch is not without its major flaws. I can turn the show on randomly and count any number of errors, more than would fit on my hand. That’s not to say that I’ve done better on a live show. The closest I’ve come is the final episode of Trailer Park from two years ago, which was technically perfect for a live show, aside from breaking a lav mic. Of course, however, certain ICTV people tend to overlook this episode and lump it together with our beginning episodes, which is what I fear that people do with Newswatch. What you may fail to take into account is that the submissions for these contests only look at one episode, perhaps one episode that you missed, which somehow was perfect.

But most all of this has been said above, and perhaps more effectively as well. So why do I need to put my opinion into the mix? I have two reasons.

First, for my entire time at Ithaca, I vowed that I would never UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, work on Newswatch. I hated it with a passion. I hated the attention it got. I hated the fact that it won awards every year, and that it seemed that every other show was placed below it, as it was/is the darling. I hated the egos of some/most of the anchors. Somehow, some way, I was convinced to work on one airdate this year, and it wasn’t half bad. The tech staff worked incredibly hard, and incredibly well together, and I learned a program that I didn’t even know existed. I was operating the still store for the evening, and was happy to be a part of something that for once, challenged me. Everything had been going fine until, I happened to notice that during a story about the Terry Schiavo debacle, as sensitive an issue as any, the graphic had pastel colored eggs and HAPPY EASTER in giant letters. You see, the producer decided to change the story order without telling most of the tech crew. Which led me to a revelation. Which is actually a clause and a sentence fragment but whatever. My revelation was that with two separate crews doing their jobs, the problem isn’t the tech crew, the problem is the communication of prep work that the producers did to the tech crew who runs the show. I’m sure Newswatch knows that this is a problem though and is making strides to fix it. But basically, I’m saying that the issues aren’t due to lack of talent or work, just miscommunication between parties.

The second reason, and the reason why I’ve taken so much time responding is this: Newswatch “owns” the station, and I’ve always hated it. There. I said it. I got it off my chest. I may be repeating things I said above, but I hate the way that the crews are so large and dedicated, I hate how it always wins awards, and by making press releases about them all the time it seems to outsiders that Newswatch is the only thing on ICTV. Those are jealousies. The fact that every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday it is impossible to do prep work for any other show, as all the computers, editors, and even chairs are being used, seems elitist to me and therefore isn’t so much a jealousy as a valid complaint. The fact that the ICTV producing room is called the NEWSroom, and not something else has always seemed appalling to me. Going to work there, I have always felt like an outsider, daring to enter someone else’s area; an outcast, and a second-rate citizen who has no authority to be using the facilities because I’m not in the brotherhood of newswatch. Newswatch has their own equipment so that when all the lav mics are taken out, and I’m forced to use a shoddy classroom mic, giving my sound person and editor headaches, they have a new high-quality microphone to use.

But why does News continue to be the dominant force? It has three things that influence the others: sheer numbers of crew members, clout, and talent.

Every year, Newswatch has the amount of people to operate three shows per week. How do they manage? In my four semesters producing shows, I only had a crew of over ten people one time, and that was because I managed to get nearly all of NBS to work on it. Even then, by the end of the semester, I was doing nearly all of the work myself, spending nine hours working to put together the trailer park finale. Other shows I’ve done have had significantly less crew, with the most blaring examples being the two times that I’ve made a tv show with a crew of 5 people, one of those times using four cameras. I’ve tried to build a community like that of newswatch or thirty minutes or TSR, and I’ve been unable to do it.. I’ve never been able to get a crew excited about coming to work for me, but newswatch is an entity, not a person, and the fact that it has such a reputation drives it.

That clout, that power and reputation are what attract the dedicated people who want to challenge themselves to work on news. And of course the skilled and dedicated take over and train the new people who are skilled and dedicated, exactly like Kristin said. The fact that they constantly challenge themselves brings out the people willing to work the hardest.

So getting back to the beginning, the reason that I’m happy that this has finally come up is that it challenges someone to rise up and meet newswatch and create some healthy competition. I thought 30 minutes had the makings of this show, but alas, it doesn’t live on. Secretly, that’s the show I always wanted to be. I wanted to make a show that would last and feed off of itself as newswatch does. I wanted a show where the crew would be happy to be there, where there was a sense of pride, and where people wanted to challenge themselves and work together. Finally I had a good product, but it wasn’t a forum that seemed like it was bonding the crew, as their most challenging task was putting up the set, and because of this I don’t know how many are returning to WIP, and how long it will live on.

Matt I hope you’re reading this, because I’ve always appreciated the work that you and Justin and Marc, and all your other friends who I don’t really know, do. If I had it to do again, I would’ve fought to keep you all working for trailer park, and making it better than it turned out. I know this is your last year, but maybe there’s still a way that you all can start something, a counter-news movement or something. I know there are enough people out there who feel the same way.

Let me clarify. I’m not saying go out with signs to picket newswatch, or even to say bad things about it. I’m saying that ICTV needs another flagship show to accompany newswatch, something that can draw numbers, challenge students technically, and create the kind of clout that already exists for NW16. A little healthy competition will only make both shows better.

As you can see by the amount of time I’ve spent re-writing this (it actually did come out better than the other version), I have no post-college life, and I’m still rooting for the success of all ICTV shows and staff members. I hope that this helps add a little perspective to the discussion, and I also hope that someone, somewhere, reading this, is inspired to continue to make ICTV a better place to express oneself. If anyone is offended by the comments I’ve made, I’m sorry, but after four years I needed to get it off my chest. PEACE OUT YALL.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Newswatch 16 Comment from ldelabr1 on 07/12/2005
As an incoming "parkie" (I think that´s what we´re called) in the school of communications at Ithaca College, I am esteemed to know that one of the shows I have a chance to work on has just won an award. Congratulations to all who worked on Newswatch 16 and helped earn the show this honor. I hope that the show and the rest of ICTV continue to receive prestigious accolades while I am studying there. Once again, congratulations and I´ll see you guys in August.