President's Annual Report 2006
Ahead of the Trend

Ahead of the Trend
Is it possible to create a live newscast for interactive television (iTV) so viewers can choose the news stories they want to watch? That's the kind of question entrepreneurial-minded students and faculty at Ball State are asking—and answering.

Last April, with support from industry professionals, Jennifer George-Palilonis, instructor of journalism, and a team of Ball State journalism graphics, telecommunications, and computer science majors made broadcast history with the first-ever-anywhere live interactive newscast on NewsLink Indiana, Ball State's student-run news operation.

This entrepreneurial project involved learning innovative digital media concepts and technologies. "Since iTV is revolutionary, we were really pushing our boundaries," says telecommunications major Sean O'Key.

iTV enables television viewers to choose news stories and explore other content using a remote control. For example, a viewer can flip from local to national news or go from sports to the Web simply by navigating around the screen. Already a trend in the United Kingdom, iTV technology has the potential to transform the way viewers in the United States watch TV and receive information over the next decade.

"We're probably five years ahead of ourselves, so we are getting a feel for the future," says Tim Pollard, associate professor of telecommunications. "Ball State is a leader in interactivity."