By Bobby Lang
On Wednesday 6/5 we toured the International Press Centre (IPC) at the Residence Palace, as well as the visitors center at the European Union Parliament. The Residence Palace alone is rich in Belgian history located in the heart of the European Quarter in close proximity to many federal institutions. The IPC plays as a hub for all domestic and foreign press relating to political and governmental factors. State of the art video production equipment and all forms of communication technology are used to accommodate every journalist or media practitioner. From custom translator booths and microphones in every seat in the press room, to innovative equipment installation to allow any journalist to pick up and go for the next story, the IPC is in a league of its own in communication technology.
I have to say this was the best day of the trip so far, the IPC tour was lead by Walter V., the most charismatic and intellectually accommodating tour leader we have had yet. Our cohort’s learning experience in our communication technology class prepared us extremely well for this tour as we were able to relate to all aspects of Walter’s discussion. We were able to see the behind the scenes of the press world with viewings of various production and editing rooms and how it all works.
Later in the day we visited the European Union Parliament’s visitor center. As a group we toured on our own using an innovative form of walking tour technology using iPhones as guides through a history of the European Union. This innovative take on providing informal tours uses the iPhone to give audio-guided visits as guest are given a mobile device with an ear piece and released on their own to tour the historical past of the European Union on their own. The new way of tour giving is efficient and very innovative for tour providers, but for the visitor I believe it looses a certain essence of the traditional form of tours.
In comparing the two tours our cohort took art in today, the IPC tour led by Walter was much more fulfilling. Instead of walking around with your head down staring at an iPhone, we were able to be interactive with the tour leader resulting in a higher sense of intellectual satisfaction.
The original post was published here.