Volume 93, Issue 22

Wednesday, October 6, 1999


Tuition freeze called for by med council

OUSA prepares to tackle tuition

New technology to aid interviews

Newman teaches students ABCs

High times in Montreal Marijuana centre lights up city

U of T housing in drafty situation


Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

New technology to aid interviews

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

Western experts will soon be making more headlines thanks to an interviewing service recently launched on campus.

Contact Western Live, a new service to facilitate television interviews, was unveiled yesterday at Middlesex College said Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the faculty of information and media studies.

The service will allow interviewers from major television networks to conduct interviews – live or taped – with members of the Western community without having either person travel, he said.

Currently, for someone to do a live TV interview, a trip to Toronto is usually necessary. Many people decline interviews because of the inconvenience of travelling, Pendakur said. "Once faculty members find out it's so easy [to give a live interview], I'm certain they will not decline as many interviews."

David Mills, broadcast manager for the faculty, said the interviewee will be able to hear the questions but will not be able to see the interviewer.

The technology is possible with the use of the fibre optic cable, VideoRoute, Pendakur said. The cable allows video signals to be sent from Western to a broadcast tower where TV stations can pick up the signal.

Before the cable was set up on campus, interviews had to be taped and then mailed to the tower, which caused delays, Pendakur said. He added the quality of the broadcast is as good as that of any news station.

According to Pendakur, the service is free to faculty, staff and students but a fee will be charged to those outside the Western community who wish to use this service.

The broadcaster will be charged for interview costs, so Western will not incur a fee for the actual interview, Mills said.

The initial costs for the equipment and technology amount to over $100,000 but much of the equipment was already present in the faculty, Pendakur added.

Kevin Newman, a Western graduate and correspondent for ABC, was present at the launch to speak of the benefits of Contact Western Live. "As the world becomes more and more wired, it's important to show that the university has [this technology available]," he said.

"I think it's a good development," said Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic, who was present at the launch. "This gets the university's story out to the public."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999