This week (Wednesday 3 November) saw the grand opening of UEA’s new studio in Broadcast House, the new home for Broadcast Journalism and Media students at the University.
Having previously been the headquarters for Heart Radio East Anglia and Radio Broadland, the studio at St. George’s Works in Colegate has extensive roots in Norwich and will now be utilised by the next generation of broadcast journalists at UEA.
Prof Mark Wells, who was UEA Broadcast Journalism Course Director earlier this year, spotted the studios just days before they were due to be demolished.
They have since been transformed and refitted to industry standards, with UEA students having access to a newly revamped radio presentation area, a television news studio, and an audio studio, whilst new teaching and meeting spaces have also been created.
Prof Wells said: “For the University, with its expanding journalism and creative practice programmes, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. Demolition was quickly put on hold, and this gave us the opportunity to develop a plan to make use of the site's unique features.
“For our students, being able to benefit from a state-of-the-art broadcast centre, complete with high-tech TV and radio news studios, will provide them with a simulation of what a career in the broadcast industry would be like, as well as allowing them to produce high-quality visual and audio news content during their time here.”
The studio was officially opened through a cake-cutting ceremony conducted by UEA Vice Chancellor and President Professor David Richardson, after a series of speeches from the VC, Prof Mark Wells and Prof Sarah Barrow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for UEA’s Faculty of Humanities.
Prof Richardson said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for them and will no doubt give them valuable experience in the practicalities of being a broadcast journalist. This will add to our burgeoning portfolio of top class practice-based degree courses and continue to cement our ties with the community by providing us with another base in the heart of Norwich city centre.”
Tours of the studio were led by students who demonstrated the new high-tech equipment on offer and showcased their broadcasting and media professionalism through mock radio presentations and interviews.
Isaac Little, Broadcast Journalism and Digital Media MA student, said: “It’s a massive advancement from what we had before. I feel so lucky to be able to use these facilities, and I think it will definitely benefit my work.”
The event also gained local media coverage, with BBC Radio Norfolk interviewing the Vice Chancellor, Radio Broadcast and Media students, and new Course Director for Broadcast Journalism, Clare Precey.