GSU TV focused on progress

Alan “Mr. B” Blakeney offers a student instruction on using the camera. Averi-Alexya Beck/The Gramblinite

Originally from New Orleans, Alan Blakeney continues to strive for excellence as the Grambling State University TV Center perseveres through adversity in every shape. 

In the years leading into 2019, the TV Center was dedicated to the advancement of broadcasting, videography and production management skills in GSU students. 

Then the TV Center also repeatedly experienced the direct impacts of severe weather in the northern Louisiana area. 

Woodson Hall, where the unit was originally located, flooded, damaging the facility and equipment.

The long-anticipated return to Woodson has not yet happened. 

But Blakeney perseveres. As not only a teacher, but a mentor and motivator for a lot of students, he has continued to encourage each and every student to gain worthwhile experience by coming to workshops held for on-campus skill development. 

“I am surrounded by students who thrive in the face of adversity, as well as train students to go straight from the classroom to the workforce,” Blakeney said. “Not only do students learn the basics, but also gain hands-on experience with direct contact with equipment and production roles.” 

It has been rumored that the new TV Center is set to open up soon to allow students to finally come together and dive into their anticipated tasks and assignments. 

Students are excited and already connecting and planning future projects for the launch of their new broadcasting station, coming rigged with the same equipment they’d see every day in their field after graduation.

As of today, the current TV Center is located in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center, with Blakeney holding workshops regularly Tuesdays and Thursdays and always eager for new student involvement opportunities. 

“I have created a safe space for open creativity and skill development for students who want a future in the field of television, movies and even radio production,” Blakeney said. “There is no lack of desire on the students’ part, and I am excited to see what the future holds.

“TV and film productions are the most fun, and well-paid jobs, and some of the very few jobs where all expenses are paid for, while you also get paid for working. Never leave money on the table!” 

Active student involvement in the TV Center is on the upswing. 

All students are encouraged to get involved and gain free experience now while there is still time before graduation. 

The TV Center doors are always open, to help all students mind their p’s and q’s.