BNC Executives, staff reviewing production standards
Info Flow, Blair's televised morning announcement program, remains suspended from production while the producers of the show plan its future.
Info Flow, a production of the student-run Blair Network Communications (BNC), was originally suspended on April 12 by Media Teacher and BNC General Manager Christopher Lloyd. According to Lloyd, the suspension was due to the content of the April 12 edition of Info Flow. Lloyd said that he had suspended production because of "the inappropriate nature of the show today."
The show in question was filmed in different locations throughout the school; one was in a bathroom with one host in the foreground reading an announcement and the other host in the background in front of a toilet. Lloyd described this as "emulating urination" and not appropriate.
"I found it was not [what] I would expect and does not represent Blair well," Lloyd said.
According to Annie Welch, Production and Engineering Executive Director for BNC, Lloyd's decision was in anticipation of a strong faculty response to the show. "He knew that scene was going to cause problems," Welch said.
Lloyd suspended the show "before he got [that] flood of emails" from faculty, Welch said.
According to Welch, the show's suspension is now under the authority of BNC's student Executive Staff. Welch could not be certain when Info Flow would return to production
In a press release on April 18, the Executive Staff noted that the shot that prompted this action was not the first such problem. "The show in question... was not simply an isolated incident in which the show contained inappropriate material. The Info Flow producers and BNC's Executive Staff have been working with faculty and Administration... to clarify the boundaries of appropriate content for the show; shooting in the bathroom was previously deemed inappropriate in our meetings with the administration," the release states.
Lloyd agreed with this assessment. "This follows meetings with both the FAC - the Faculty-Administrative Council - as well as with [Principal Phillip] Gainous, Lloyd said. "[Gainous] asked for a greater degree of professionalism and a better show."
The FAC is made up of a combination of Blair administrators and teachers.
According to Welch, BNC is using the hiatus from production to examine how to produce the best show it can. "It's mainly a deal of, we know we can do better," said Welch. In the midst of a production process, "you can't really make changes," Welch added.
The Executive Staff is determined to preserve the quality of Info Flow while satisfying the show's critics. "It's a good show," said Welch. "We don't want to produce something that isn't the best.... We're trying to help the administration with their concerns, we're trying to help the FAC with their concerns."
Info Flow is normally subjected to an editorial process between the production and airing of each show. The Info Flow staff consists of five producers, organized by Coordinating Info Flow Producer An Nguyen-Gia. The producer organizes the filming of show, and edits the show together. Nguyen-Gia then views the show.
On April 11, when the show in question was produced, Nguyen-Gia was out of town with Blair's band.
Welch suggested that safeguards for such eventualities would be part of the studio's reforms. "Maybe one of the changes will be more review process," Welch said.
One problem BNC encounters with Info Flow ("IF") is the significant amount of criticism the show regularly receives. Said Welch, "Everyone always has problems with IF, regardless of if [the show] is top-notch."
According to Welch, criticism comes from all quarters and is hard to satisfy. "You have the students, you have the faculty, you have the administration, you have the parents, and you have the factions within all of those," Welch said. "Someone's always going to have a problem [with the show]."
In addition to Welch, the BNC Executive Staff consists of Television Executive Director Laura Beach, Internet Executive Director Robert Day, and Radio Executive Director Eli Roth (Day is also an Editor-in-Chief of Silver Chips Online).
The Info Flow staff has met with Blair administrators several times. Before the recent meeting with Gainous, the IF producers and the BNC executive staff met with the FAC, whose main concern was the seriousness of the show and the clarity of the audio. "I think their main concern was the music and the hosts taking the announcements seriously.
Attendance Secretary Roxanne Fus preceded the Monday, April 15 Info Flow with an announcement that Info Flow would be broadcast for the remainder of the week over the PA system due to "technical difficulties." Fus said that her error was due solely to having not been informed of the true nature of the situation.
No date has been set for Info Flow to return to the airwaves, but the BNC press release assures the Blair Community that "the suspension of the show... does not imply that Info Flow will be cancelled for the remainder of the year."
Joe Howley. Joe Howley is a senior at Blair in the Communication Arts Program. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Online division of Chips and shares the Graphics Editorship with the infamous Brandon Proia. He is resigned to being a hopeless computer "geek," and is already an object … More »