Warrior Spirit TV: Broadcasting Fort Polk
July 20, 2009
- Post television station has big job for small staff
FORT POLK, La. -- It's not often a newspaperman gets to write a story on his co-workers. When he does, the transcripts can get a little muddled -- there's a lot of off-topic discussion and the interviews need copious editing. That said, the staff of Warrior Spirit TV, which shares space with "The Guardian" at the Fort Polk Public Affairs Office, provided a rollicking interview -- the sort to be expected among creative types. Perhaps one day the unedited version will surface, but for now the rabbit trail conversations about Rick Astley, the year 2012 and Botswana's geography will have to be cut.
Warrior Spirit TV (found on SuddenLink's channel 3, and Sprint's channel 4) is Fort Polk's own television station and is staffed by Jeff England and T.C. Bradford (formerly of "Guardian" fame).
Guardian: What is Warrior Spirit TV'
Jeff: Warrior Spirit TV is the post commander's access channel. We air footage of Fort Polk events, the Pentagon channel and announcements from around post.
Guardian: What types of announcements can viewers expect to find on WSTV'
Jeff: News briefs, Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation happenings, breaking news, classes and festivals on and around post. The channel is set up with different zones which contain information including weather, FMWR announcements and a color coded crawl (red denotes weather, green -- changes of command, yellow -- road construction and black -- general announcements).
T.C.: We also include bulletin board announcements from "The Guardian" each week.
Guardian: What is the best thing about WSTV'
T.C.: It's a great place to go first thing in the morning. If you watch it for 15 minutes, you'll get an idea of Fort Polk's important events. Keep an eye on it, because it's constantly being updated. You might even see some of your friends and neighbors.
Guardian: What is WSTV's biggest project right now'
T.C.: We recently took a lightning strike which destroyed our channel. That put us off of the air for a while, but we have a new system installed now. We're in the process of getting the channel back to where it was, but we are also improving it.
Guardian: What are some of the improvements'
T.C.: We will move to a new building soon. The process of re-establishing the channel will
accelerate once we move to our new studio. It will take time, but when we get there everything will be better. (The Public Affairs Office is moving to the old shoppette location on Magnolia Drive.)
We have plans to begin airing birth announcements from Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, FMWR announcements and photos from "The Guardian." Often there isn't enough space to print all of the best photos of an event, but WSTV can run them as a slideshow.
We will also be interviewing random members of the Fort Polk community for our "Man on the Street" segments soon. "Man on the Street" is similar to the "Polk People" section of "The Guardian."
Jeff: We are constantly adding more to the channel. WSTV is broadcast on the local intranet, and is reachable from any Directorate of Information Management based computer at intranet.polk.army. mil/doim. Follow the WSTV link on the left. We're working on getting the channel on the Internet so if your Family wants to see what's going on here or if you are overseas or on temporary duty you can still watch the channel.
When we get to the new building we will have a new studio to work with. That will allow us to air more local events and possibly some live shows. Stories on local people will create more interest in the station, because viewers will see their friends and Family on TV.
Guardian: How does WSTV compare to other television stations'
T.C.: Once we get everything back to normal, we will look comparable. We won't have commercial ads, however. Of course we're not constrained in the way civilian stations are, in that we can set our schedule. Civilian stations have national network affiliations that determine most of their programming.
When I worked at a network affiliate station we had 25 people to produce a 30 minute news program. WSTV has two people on staff, but our responsibilities are varied. Our main job at the network station was to produce the news. Here we are juggling day-to-day programming, breaking news and non-broadcast video projects for the post command team.
Jeff: All of our equipment is less than one year old. We're in the process of getting it set up and working properly, but for the facilities we're working with, we're doing well. Once we are set up we will be comparable to any overseas American Forces Network station.
Guardian: What is your biggest pet peeve'
Jeff: WSTV is not the Polk Channel. People often refer to us as the Polk Channel, but we have been WSTV for the past three years.
T.C.: People who try to avoid the camera. If you see us out there on Fort Polk with a camera, do not avoid it. If you just walk by, no one will notice you.
There is a mountain of work ahead for the WSTV staff, but the future also looks bright. Despite misfortune, Fort Polk's television station continues to keep the post's residents informed and ready to confront each day.
To share story ideas call 531-1392/7778. Be sure to catch footage of 115th Combat Support Hospital's advance party redeployment at the top of every even hour this week.