written by Shari Sentlowitz | Market Development Manager, Education Solutions
When Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication began to integrate their broadcast news and journalism programs in September 2010, Marvin Marcello, General Manager and Associate Professor, Murrow Symposium turned to Sony to develop a kit that would allow their journalism and media students to easily capture still pictures, video and audio. Marcello worked with his Sony Account Manager, Claudia Souza,and Peter DiIorio of Sony’s System Solutions Group to spec out a custom solution to meet their student’s needs.
Over the next 18 months, the school and Sony worked closely together to determine the best solution that would benefit students in its reporting, multimedia and editing classes. Then in the spring semester of 2012, the school launched The Murrow Backpack Journalism Project.
In this program the student-journalists travel to some of the world’s most remote regions to report on important stories, as an “eye-witness” to world events. They are on-scene where and when the news is being made.
“The Backpack Journalism project not only gives our students the opportunity to travel to unfamiliar locales and meet people from all walks of life, but it allows them to highlight some of the life-changing work the volunteer groups do in third-world countries,” said Marcello. “They witness first-hand the positive impact of the work being done in these communities and post these stories to share with the rest of the world.”
Stephanie Schendel and Andrea Castillo were the first WSU students selected to take part in the program, and they were assigned to report in two different parts of the world: Guatemala and Nicaragua. The budding journalists photographed, blogged and produced video stories about their experiences and encounters. The students, both seniors in the Journalism and Media Production major, were given Sony cameras and laptop computers to capture, edit and post their work. You can see their stories here.
With a successful backpack program underway, WSU needed to purchase gear that would allow their students to shoot, capture and edit on the go. The original backpack concept was revisited and in late 2012 the Sony Video Journalism Backpack kit was born. The Sony Systems Solution group worked with WSU to design the all-in one kit to meet the schools needs and WSU purchased 20 of these kits to support their growing program.
The all in one kit VJBK1TVV comes equipped with an HXR-NX30U compact professional recorder, wireless UWP-V1 mic System, F-112 handheld mic and MDR-7506 pro headphones; tripod; LED video light; Sony’s latest Xperia™ tablet for playback clips or teleprompting, the latest Vegas™ Pro Editing Software, a Sony VAIO laptop as well as cables and accessories. There is also a version of this kit that does not include the laptop: VJBK1T
To help student’s get acquainted with the backpack Sony has also created a complete training series:
Journalist Backpack – Introduction
Journalist Backpack – Unboxing and Setup
Journalist Backpack – Setting and Operations
Based on the original backpack’s success and customer feedback Sony has also recently launched versions of these kits that include the PMW-100 camera and the PMW-200 with all related accessories
This summer students are currently in Cuba with their new backpacks and we look forward to seeing their reports upon their return.
UPDATE 6/19: The students have returned from a successful trip and you can follow their experience in CUBA by visiting their blog here.
To learn more about the Murrow Backpack Journalism Project visit their website here.