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New York TV news recruits college students to help with coverage

March 05, 2009|Associated Press

NEW YORK — After talking to journalism students at Stony Brook University recently, John Houseman of New York's WPIX-TV left behind 18 new video cameras.

Houseman, assistant news director at WPIX, had enlisted students at the Long Island campus as contributors to his news operation with an investment of $119 per camera. He wants the budding journalists -- as well as students at Fordham, Rutgers and New York universities -- to send in material if they see something they believe to be a story.

Though the program offers an opportunity for students, it has raised alarms among some professional journalists and technicians who wonder if it's the sort of thing that might one day threaten their jobs.

Nothing that the students have shot has appeared on air or the station's website yet. Karen Scott, WPIX's news director, said she envisioned them helping out in breaking news situations near where they live if the station's journalists can't get there quickly.

The students won't be paid for their contributions. Instead, they'll have the chance to see their work on TV or online. That's something their schoolwork can't approximate, said Marcy McGinnis, associate dean of Stony Brook's School of Journalism.

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