Organisation:

Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute/University Of Missouri School Of Journalism

Situation:

The Missouri School of Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) produces a weekly radio show called Global Journalist. The 30-minute programme features live Skype video interviews with working journalists from around the globe who report on the state of press freedom. Students and staff record the show every Thursday morning, and it’s “on air” that evening. The programme video/audio recordings are then sent to local television stations and finally played onto YouTube.

Challenges:

Before Quicklink, guests on the show were called using the consumer Skype group-chat feature on one Mac Mini. The call quality was basic and the transmission not reliable. Travis McMillen, Video Producer at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, told us why they have chosen the Quicklink TX:

“Journalists would be at the scene and unable to get to a quiet location. You would have a bunch of ambient noises or something going on in the background that was feeding to one source. It was hard to listen to. It was hard to listen to as we were sharing one line for everybody”.

Solution:

RJI installed 3 Quicklink TX rack mounted units in their server room. The Quicklink TX is a video call management system. It enables professional reception and transmission of Skype video calls through an SDI and HDMI interface. The 3 units provide the show’s audio engineer with 3 separate lines. The student producers control multiple simultaneous incoming and outgoing Skype calls coming from any Skype enabled device via the Skype TX controller interface.

Results:

RJI has successfully produced several live Global Journalist shows and even used the TX units for talkback for a show with Aljazeera America.

“We call the journalists from our studio and they can see the programme of the show on their Skype, which is a nice feature from Quicklink,” explains Travis. “That is better than before in which they were getting a simple camera feed.”

Due to the power of the Quicklink TX it certainly has produced some staggering results, according to Travis;

“It has definitely solved our past problems. Being primarily a radio show, having just one source was problematic as we were sharing one line for everybody. Now that we have three separate audio lines, our connections and video quality is strong.”

“The learning curve for the Quicklink TX is very small and you don’t have to be a tech wizard to manage it. Simplicity and ease of use is wonderful and didn’t require an afternoon of training, which nobody has time for.”

Global Journalist is a weekly radio program produced by students at the University of Missouri. More about the Global Journalist follow the link: http://globaljournalist.org