May 3, 1999 Vol. III, No. 15

'Valley View News' Expands to Spanish-Language Edition

Spring Semester Experiment Serves as
Training Ground for Future Spanish-Speaking Anchors

Valley View News," Cal State Northridge's student-produced weekly television newscast, has taken a multi-cultural leap during the spring semester with the creation of its first- ever Spanish-language news programs.

Seven Spanish-speaking students working on "Valley View News" branched into producing, writing, editing and anchoring the show's new 10-minute Spanish newscasts. They have aired live during the spring semester between 5:30-6 p.m. Mondays on Channel 42 on the campus cable network.

The bilingual journalism students collaborated with Spanish language professor Renee Baez and other journalism students to produce "Valley View News en Espaņol." The venture is a response to the growing demand for Spanish-speaking anchors in Los Angeles' Spanish-language media.

"This type of program is needed because of the lack of trained people working in the industry. The Spanish-speaking community is growing and will be a big part of California," said Baez, who once worked for an RCA-affiliate radio station in Colombia.

Julio Ortiz, one of the student pioneers of "Valley View News en Espaņol," said the program, containing local and Cable News Network content, is structured to serve Spanish-language communities by emphasizing their issues-ranging from civil conflicts to entertainment.

As a result of the Spanish-language newscasts, the students now have an opportunity to provide bilingual resumes to prospective employers, said journalism assistant professor Rick Marks, director of "Valley View News." In the past, Marks said, students could produce only English-language resume tapes.

"This will provide the students an opportunity to learn and apply broadcasting skills in English as well as Spanish. With the growing popularity of Spanish media, the students now have another outlet for their skills," Marks said.

At the end of the spring semester, "Valley View News en Espaņol" also plans to combine several newscasts to create a 30-minute program that will air on Time Warner Cable. But whether the Spanish-language edition of "Valley View News" will continue in the fall semester remains for now an open question.

Nonetheless, Ortiz said of the spring semester venture, "It is great to know that I can leave here as a bilingual student and know that I can knock on two doors instead of one. It gives me a great satisfaction to know that I can go back and be able to serve my community."

-Muriel Banares

May 3, 1999

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