Wednesday, March 18, 2009

VPR's Coverage of Same Sex Marriage Hearing: Your Pledge At Work

Tonight you are able to listen to the entire Statehouse Hearing on the same-sex marriage bill. You will also hear comprehensive news coverage of this important issue as it continues to unfold.

VPR's Vice President of News and Programming, John Van Hoesen, is in the middle of the many moving pieces that make this special coverage possible. He files this observation:

"Live broadcasts always create fairly electric moments in public radio. A surprising amount of connections need to be made to various electronic devices, and connections also need to be made among the people behind the scenes.

So at 6:06 p.m. when Sen. Sears announced the opening of the public hearing on same-sex marriage and VPR’s online legislative stream produced the crystal clear sound of his voice, it was a very good sign! All the checks and double-checks to make sure the stream would be clear and reliable had worked. So if you have your computer on and you’ve logged onto the legislative stream from the Vermont House tonight, you are tuned in.

Also, for the very first time, VPR is broadcasting the hearing live over HD-3, which is available on WVPS, WRVT, WBTN and WVPR. This part of the broadcast is coming from the House Chamber over a dedicated line to VPR’s Colchester studio where it’s being broadcast onto HD-3. So these two broadcasts are coming to you thanks to the hard work of VPR’s engineers, reporters and producers and the fact that VPR has studios, towers and an investment in new technology.

Everyone appears to be “on-mic,” and there are no extra buzzes or hums and no one is bumping into the mic. In addition, the audience microphone is well-placed and working well. This was the good work of the Statehouse audio crew, another key partnership in this successful broadcast.

Meanwhile, Bob Kinzel was listening closely to the hearing in preparation for a live report on VPR at 7 p.m. with Mitch Wertlieb.

In the background, we are recording the hearing into a digital audio file, which we will later post online so you can listen to the entire hearing whenever you want from

Our reporters have cameras with them and they’ll be taking photos of the public hearing, which you’ll see online as well.

Plus, Ross Sneyd will be reporting from the scene as well in the event National Public Radio would like to have a story on the hearing. He’ll be contacting the Newscast Unit at NPR later this evening.

John Van Hoesen
Vice President for News and Programming

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