Tim Lewis is the man who brought “sweeps week” to LSC-TV News 7. Just as the Nielsen ratings gauge national television viewership, he recruits community volunteers to rate the overall quality of News 7 broadcasts twice each semester. The exercise gives Television Studies majors a bona fide taste of what they will experience as broadcast professionals.
“Television is a team sport,” he says. “It comes as a shock when students realize that one person’s mistake—technical or editorial—can affect the overall show, no matter how good the actual news gathering effort might have been. Not only does it impact viewer perception, but a single mistake takes its toll on the grade of every student involved in the broadcast.”
Professor Lewis’ background as a statehouse correspondent and producer/anchor for WCAX in Burlington prepared him to teach future television reporters. From him, students learn to get the news and “get it right.” Whether covering the New Hampshire presidential primary or doing a human interest piece during sugaring season, they realize quickly the importance of accuracy, clarity and conciseness. “Journalism is a public service, and they learn to take it seriously.”