UCT TV CONTINUES TO PROVIDE AUDIO PRODUCTION SERVICES FOR UCT NEWS DURING SA NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN
Clement Mogale Nchabeleng, UCT TV Chief Technical Officer.
UCT Television (UCT TV) established remote audio production services to continue recording news podcasts for UCT news shortly after the lockdown started. This is a continuation of a collaboration between the UCT Communications and Marketing Division (CMD) and UCT TV. The podcasts are embedded in the corresponding news articles and published on the UCT news page, giving the audience an option to listen to the articles or download the podcast to listen to offline instead of reading them.
The newsroom team, led by Pete van der Woude, select news articles and send them to UCT TV for recording. The articles are then shared with readers who record them from their homes before sending them for editing, quality check and mixdown. Once the final versions are exported, they are uploaded to and shared via collaborative cloud storage supplied by the Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS) for the newsroom team to grade and publish on the UCT news page.
"Remote working applications such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Office 365 are key to running this initiative smoothly. They allow all the people involved in the project to collaborate through the internet and share information and files in order to achieve the final products - news podcasts" said UCT TV's Chief Technical Officer, Clement Nchabeleng. "Although some challenges, such as noise captured from the ordinary non-acoustic rooms that our voice recorders use, we have a team of skilled audio editors who are able to filter the noise and apply special effects to improve the sound quality. Other challenges such as network connectivity issues and low bandwidth are sometimes a burden, but it’s looking good so far".
Nash Makado, UCT news reader and Film and Media master's student.
Before lockdown, CMD sent staff members to the UCT TV studio on a weekly basis, where they recorded the podcasts in one of the sound booths. More than sixty news podcasts have been published through this collaboration since September 2019. This project helps make it easy for people with visual impairments or those who would simply prefer to listen to the news rather than reading it. Because the podcasts can be streamed or downloaded, they can be played anywhere.
The remote audio production service for UCT News is expected to continue until the end of the lockdown when recordings and production will be taken back to the studio and business will continue as normal. To listen to the podcasts, visit news.uct.ac.za and look for news articles that have audio (loud speaker) icons next to the news thumbnail.