By Gabrielle Bellamy
This international study tour just keep getting better! On yesterday, we went to the International Press Centre and the Parlamentarium.
Our first stop was the IPC. The IPC was founded in 2001. They help deliver service to the press and help the federal government release press. The IPC is located in the heart of the European Union area, which is a great location for them. An interesting fact about the IPC is that although they depend on the administration of the Belgian Federal Prime Minister, the government has no influence on the organization. They are an independent organization with their own board of directors that pursues no use of propaganda. The IPC typically hosts from 20-150 participants, and can host a total of 250 participants. The organization also allows journalists to use their facilities, which I thought was nice. Most of the journalists are accredited journalists from large news services such as AP and Reuters; however, some freelance journalists also use the facility.
At the IPC, they make sure they use technology equipment that is up to date. They are connected to many news networks worldwide via fiber connector. There are also a lot of other cool technology devices that we saw. In the press conference rooms, everyone must be seated, and there is no standing room. The chairs have outlets, translators, and microphones hidden in the armrests. The conference rooms also have TV cameras that are able to automatically broadcast live press conferences. There are also translation rooms for translators to use during the press conferences. Along with the conference rooms, there are also news media rooms and areas for broadcast, and there is a room with a green screen. At the IPC, they use the editing software called Avid, which is very quick and makes the editing process faster. Our tour guide Walter also noted that although Apple products are used, he does not prefer them. I also learned about Eurovision, the conglomerate of all public TV stations worldwide. All public news stations at the IPC are members of Eurovision. The IPC is able to transport any segment to the offices of the members of Eurovision. All the members have to do is ask, and the IPC can also modulate news segments on cable. During the tour, I loved seeing all of the different equipment that is used at the IPC.
At the Parlamentarium, we learned the history of the European Union. One of the interesting things we experienced was the use of these iPod-like devices. The devices were programmed for your primary language. They also showed and played information about the different historical exhibits. All one had to do was place their device in front of a picture of a key. There was a key next to the different exhibits. This was the first time I had ever seen or heard of anything like this, so I was very impressed!