News: AFN Iwakuni conducts live broadcasting
Story by Lance Cpl. Brian Stevens
IWAKUNI, Japan - American Forces Network Iwakuni does something here not many other stations in the Marine Corps or Department of Defense do. They go live. AFN Iwakuni conducts live news broadcasts on a monthly basis and live radio broadcasts on a daily basis.
“The importance of live broadcasting is immediacy,” said Gunnery Sgt. Troy Ruby, AFN Iwakuni station manager. “At any time we would need to go to a live broadcast, we know the process and steps to put a broadcaster on live to pass emergency information efficiently and quickly.”
The live broadcast looks the same to viewers, the only way to tell the broadcast is live is by the actions of the broadcaster.
“We use to have a bug, the little AFN logo, that would say live, but the machine for that stopped working so it looks the same as a recorded news broadcasting would,” said Ruby.
Viewers may not know the broadcast is live, but to the ones relaying the news, it is evident.
“Even though the viewers aren't aware that the broadcast is live, we do,”said Lance Cpl. Amy Douglas, AFN broadcaster. “The more I go on a live broadcast, the more comfortable I am with it. At first I was hesitant, but once I get on the air my training from school kicks in.”
A live broadcast puts trust and confidence on behalf of the command in the hands of the Marines and sailors on air.
Ruby added AFN Marines record TV broadcasts weekly, with the goal of treating each one as if it were live. Even though the broadcast is live, the news topics are generally the same as a recorded broadcasting would be.
“We always have local news, weather, sports as well as command
information that needs passed,” said Ruby.
Pulling off a live TV broadcast requires significant manpower and everyone has to be in sync for the operation to run smoothly.
“You have to have camera operators, directors as well as anchors and a lot of stations just don't have the manpower to support the operation,” said Ruby.
Working at AFN Iwakuni, offers Marines and sailors opportunities many stations can't.
“I'm really proud to be a part of AFN because it's such a unique
opportunity,” said Douglas. “It offers an experience that few people in my job field will ever be afforded.”