Freedom can often be difficult to obtain, but at KBVR-TV the liberty to explore ideas in the world of television production is one of the things that keeps students involved and exited.
Since 1965 broadcast television has been a staple of student media at OSU. Beginning in Shepard Hall, tapes were made and sent to a company for air space. In 1978, the station moved to its current facility in Snell Hall and began direct programming out of studios built especially for television production.
Currently KBVR-TV, viewable on cable channel 99, is wide open to students of any major who wish to take part.
Assistant Director of Student Media Ann Robinson believes there are definite advantages to the freedoms at KBVR-TV.
"If you walk in the door and want to do something, you can do it," she said.
Shows range from news to comedy and include themes such as cooking, talk and music. A key project for the year was "Blind Date Oregon State," a show that captured the experiences of strangers attempting to spend an evening together.
It is fresh ideas resulting in shows like "Blind Date" that prove KBVR-TV is alive and well, she said.
Other staff members agree that the station allows for endless opportunities as an entirely student-run organization.
"We can use anybody," said Tony Chung, station manager. "We'll teach you what to do."
Chung is in his second year at KBVR-TV. He made his start as a graphic designer for the news department and then moved into the position of station manager.
He explained that most schools do not allow students to come in and use equipment right away. But at OSU, students without experience can take a class, become certified on equipment, and use all that is available.
"We have one of the better studios in Oregon," Chung said.
Program Director Paul Pistey has been part of the program for roughly three years. He began as an actor on the show Delsuions of Grandeur, one of the more well-known student productions. It wasn't long before he begun producing his own show.
"I just decided to make my own show," he said.
"Shameless," a comedy/drama is the result. Pistey incorporates skits and short movies into the production and gives a lot of the credit for the show to Alan Winston, the producer of Delusions of Grandeur, who helped him develop the idea.
Pistey plans to make a future out of his work at KBVR-TV, adding that he had no experience in the industry before KBVR-TV.
My dream is to go to California and start a career like this," he said. "I love all aspects of it. It's my passion."
KBVR-TV will start the 2002 school year with brand new digital studio cameras, replacing 15-year old equipment.
The station is broadcast to over 50,000 homes in Corvallis, Lebanon, Albany, Philomath, and Sweet Home. All programming for KBVR-TV is sent via cable from the OSU facility and can be viewed Monday through Thursday, from 7PM to midnight on Channel 99.
"We actually have a button we can push to override the programming on the channel, so all programming is up to us," Robinson said.
Chung believes enthusiasm is growing and numbers are increasing.
"When I started, news had around 20 people. Now it has 40 people," he said, and two new shows have recently been added.
KBVR-TV has around 60 people involved in the production and students are often creating new programs to air.
According to Chung, producing a show is very simple. A student can take a production class, write up a proposal, present it, and go to work.
"Just come in and take a class. You learn as you go," he said.
Although OSU has had no technical journalism program since 1991, many students have gone on to successful careers in the field. For example, a 1992-93 KBVR-TV station manager now works at CNN.
Kim Turpin, former station manager, has a freelance film and video job with a Portland-based company.
Turpin said it was experiences such as working as a production assistant with the crew of the Jaywalking segment of Jay Leno's Tonight Show that helped her make contacts for the future.
Robinson, who has overseen KBVR-TV for the last two decades, is convinced that the work develops invaluable people skills in students that can be transferred to any part of life.
"Television is different from other forms of media. It's a team game," she said.