Topics: College of Communication Information and Media, Emerging Media

January 18, 2007

The Center for Media Design (CMD) and British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) producers have created a contest for Ball State students to develop and pitch interactive television concepts.

"For the past several years, the field of interactive television (iTV) has grown rapidly abroad and is now emerging as a media platform in the United States," said Michelle Prieb, CMD project manager. "We are interested in exploring the bounds of this new media through research and content development and by providing an exciting and relevant immersive learning experience for Ball State's students from all backgrounds."

The objective and rules of the CMD/BBC Challenge will be outlined during a 6 p.m. information session Jan. 22 in the Art and Journalism Building, room 175. Also during the meeting, BBC producers will talk about and show some of their current interactive television outputs, and students will receive a topic for conceptual development.

Mike Bloxham, CMD director of insight and research, has been working with the BBC since 2006 to develop the challenge. 

"The BBC is arguably the world's pre-eminent broadcaster when it comes to extending TV programs into the interactive realm — whether that is the Web and cell phone convergence or use of the remote control to allow viewers to access program-related features," Bloxham said. "We are extremely happy that Ball State students from any area of study are going to have the opportunity to interact with our visitors and enter this competition."

CMD will host an open forum so faculty and students can speak one-on-one with BBC representatives from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 23 at Ball Communication Building, room 214. While on campus, the BBC team will also visit several classes to lecture and promote the challenge.

Ball State students from any academic discipline are eligible to compete for a spot on the CMD/BBC production team. Entrants have until March to finalize their projects, which will be presented to BBC producers when they return to campus.

Based on the presentation, two Ball State students will be offered an expense-paid, eight-week immersive learning opportunity working on their iTV program with the BBC in London beginning May 14.

"Ultimately, the winners will be those students who can create strong concepts, communicate them effectively and interact well with the BBC when they return in March," Bloxham said. "We aren't necessarily looking for students with design, programming or production backgrounds. A biology or business major has as much chance as a digital storytelling or journalism major."

The winners will work periodically with CMD staff during the assignment.

For more information, contact Prieb at (765) 285-0137 or