British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Springboard Gives Norfolk TV Punch!

Students at the College of West Anglia have been using SpringboardTV, an award-winning online community broadcasting resource. Course Director Anthony Barnett and some of his students outline the project’s development.

About the authors: Course Director Anthony Barnett compiled this article with second year ABC Journalism students Hannah Allen, Amy Eglan, Elizabeth Clarke, Hayley Johnston, Lauren Isebell, Rosie Brown, Shannon Wiles-Van Dyke and Victoria Langford


The start … from little acorns …
In 2008 Anthony Barnett, College of West Anglia’s Video Production Lecturer, was contacted by ‘possibly Norfolk’s greatest eccentric’, the octogenarian entrepreneur Eric St. John Foti, also known as ‘Mr. Norfolk Punch’ due to his discovery and development of a 700 year old herbal drink recipe now drunk world wide as ‘Norfolk Punch’. Eric proposed setting up a community television station with a view to it being run by young people from the college, to which Anthony responded by saying,

… It would provide just the vocational work experience students and lecturers would like, giving an opportunity to deliver more of an apprenticeship.

Eric St. John Foti

Eric’s entrepreneurial flair encouraged the college to pitch for, and win, £250,000 from the British Educational Communications Technology Agency (BECTA, which regrettably closes down in March 2011 due to cutbacks) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), two government bodies set up ‘to ensure every learner has access to technology in order to reach and exceed their potential’. Thanks to that substantial investment the College of West Anglia created, which has enabled students to access, and keep apace with, technology that as we all know changes by the minute. Confirmation that students are reaping the opportunities provided by this new resource were recently evidenced when the college won the coveted Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for Leadership of Innovation in Curriculum Development for the setting up and running of SpringboardTV.

The shopping list of requirements for the project included ten solid state Panasonic AG-HMC151 HD Cameras and twenty Final Cut & Adobe CS5 installed iMacs working off a dedicated Apple central server (never advisably to be connected to an institution’s network!). In addition facilities include radio microphones, shot gun microphones, dedo lights, pag lights, a tricaster for multicamera production with virtual studios, a Gib, Glidecam HD 4000 with smooth shooter, three autocue systems, reflecmedia chromakey curtains and one JVC 3-CCD solid state GY- HM 700 camera. These resources aim to provide students with a real head start into a competitive industry.

Students from the college’s Media department had a great deal of involvement in the development of their internet television station, not least when it came to naming it. Various suggestions were made, such as ‘Angles’, ‘The Wash’ and ‘KLTV’ (King’s Lynn TV), but eventually ‘Springboard TV’ won the students’ vote. Students saw their station as a way of getting their productions out there on the World Wide Web; thus acting as a springboard for their creations. In fact 88% of learners said that having their work published locally was a great benefit; they saw it as a stimulating tool and said that it made them more determined to pursue a career in the media industry because of their experience.

Paul Wilson, 19, BTEC Extended Diploma

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