PSU students take on TV news

Co-founding the Motion Picture Filming Club was not enough for Portland State students Richard Juden and Robert Pitts. After creating the Filming Club last summer, one of more than 100 student groups funded through the Student Organization Council, Juden and Pitts took their motivation a step further, actualizing it in last week’s online podcast of their newest endeavor: Viking Vision.

Viking Vision is Portland State’s newest media outlet and the second university television news-broadcasting program in the state. University of Oregon students created the first TV news program in fall 2002.

Juden, a communications major and Northwest Film Center graduate, said he is excited about the possibilities of the program, and that more people join the student group every week. He said Viking Vision gives all PSU students the opportunity to take part in a type of broadcasting and gain real-world experience they could not find at the university before.

“The most important thing is to give to the students,” Juden said. “Aside from internships, communications students at PSU don’t have any way to get real experience. This will give them that.”

The young program already has strong backing. Juden said Professor Michael Clark, the instigator of the soon-to-be PSU film minor, and Director of Office of Information Technologies Mark Kramer both encouraged Juden and Pitts to pursue Viking Vision.

Aside from PSU staff, Ken Boddie, television news anchor for CBS affiliate KOIN Channel 6, is working as program adviser to Viking Vision. Juden said that while he directs each show, Boddie is able to give the Viking Vision anchors advice that Juden could not.

“He is my liaison to anchors,” Juden said. “His 20 years of experience beat me out by a bit.”

Juden said the strong support he and Pitts received from the start helped the station get off its feet. He said that even though it is relatively inexpensive to create an episode of Viking Vision, the Motion Picture Filming Club’s budget covers both the club and Viking Vision, keeping the budget tight.

“We’re an SOC group so the budget isn’t very much,” he said, adding that they were able to secure filming equipment by borrowing from the Office of Information Technology and by receiving technology donations from defunct student groups, like Sustainable Community Media, a group that failed to secure Student Fee Committee funding. He said the majority of the budget from this year was used for blank media, advertising and events.

Juden said Viking Vision’s primary source of income comes by way of fundraisers and donations. Because it is a PSU program, and therefore a public program, it cannot offer its services for money. What the group can do, Juden said, is produce a fundraising video for a company, which he said could bring in around $1,000.

The current pilot episode of Viking Vision is available through the Motion Picture Filming Club web site, and can be watched through Windows Media Player by clicking the Viking Vision link. Juden said the eight-minute episode is similar to what the group will continue to produce in the upcoming weeks.

“The pilot is online right now and it’s kind of cheesy,” he said.

But that did not discourage Juden, Pitts and their crew. They plan to shoot another episode this week and post it on the Filming Club web site by Monday.

Juden is currently talking to Kramer about playing Viking Vision on television screens in both Neuberger Hall and Smith Memorial Student Union, and possibly getting a spot on the local public-access channel. Portland State had a similar television news program during the 1970s, but Juden said it was cut because of floundering budgets.

Juden said he is excited about the future of the program, and hopes to try to start programs similar to the Motion Picture Filming Club and Viking Vision in colleges around the country. He said he hopes Viking Vision grows at Portland State, as he will push the program to become an SFC group and get student fee funding.

“People are starting to participate and watch the show,” Juden said.

The show’s crew, which now includes 14 staff members as reporters, anchors and technology personnel, meets every Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of Neuberger Hall. Although participants do not get paid, Juden said they are working on getting students credit for their work and possible financial reimbursement if Viking Vision does get SFC funding.

Juden said anyone with an interest in the program can show up to the studio or contact him via the Motion Picture Filming Club web site at for more information.

?”Additional reporting by Karina Brown