TV show keeps UT, WGTE ‘Plugged-In’ to energy storiesWritten by Lori Golaszewski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Plugged-In” is a unique program, said Darren LaShelle, WGTE executive producer, because it explores “cutting-edge” topics in science, technology and medicine at UT and within Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. The show also focuses on leadership in business, economic development and the arts.
The half-hour program is produced in a news-magazine format, which allows for a greater exploration of topics, LaShelle said.
“We take the time to delve into the details of a story that a traditional newscast just doesn’t have the time to do. I’m not knocking commercial news, but they have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time,” he said.
The first episode featured four stories focusing on the technology behind global positioning systems (GPS), research into biofuels and alternative sources of energy, the use of virtual reality in education, and the differences between left-brained and right-brained people.
“I think the reaction will be pretty good,” said Jennifer Mondelli, a UT sophomore who is one of the hosts of “Plugged-In.” “It’s incredibly interesting and a lot of fun to watch.”
LaShelle said the intent is to showcase the expertise of UT faculty and researchers as well as entrepreneurs in the community who are developing and utilizing science and technology, giving viewers a better understanding of new developments in their own backyard.
“It’s about community,” LaShelle said. “We are really talking about all of the great things going on here, and there are so many, we’re never going to run out of topics. It’s sort of a mirror back to the community that says, look at what a great place this is and how many great things are going on here. Hopefully that can address people’s concerns about how we’re doing economically and the brain drain issue.”
A unique aspect to the show is the utilization of UT students as hosts and reporters, who make the show accessible to a younger audience and bring enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to the subjects they cover, LaShelle noted.
The students work hand-in-hand with WGTE producers to develop story ideas, research topics and produce the reports.
“Plugged-In” will be repeated multiple times each month. New episodes will air the third Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m. The show also can be viewed online at www.wgte.org/pluggedin.