By Kelsey Oliver, Chattanooga, TN–UTC students looking for a way to stay informed on public affairs in the Chattanooga area do not have to look far, thanks to a campus-produced television program.
The show, Point of View, is produced by UTC adjunct professor Booker Scruggs in conjunction with Chattanooga’s Arts and Education Council, and aims to inform viewers about the pros and cons of local, state-wide and occasionally national issues via a series of guest speakers.
Point of View has been in production since the 1950s, with Scruggs hosting and producing the show since the 1970s.
It is currently the world’s longest-running, locally-produced television show.
Scruggs said he is proud to be part of a show with such a long history, and that he enjoys being involved with something that relates to his own interests.
“I accepted the invitation to host the show on a regular schedule because of my interest in the field of sociology, and the fact that many of the topics on the shows were about people and their concerns, situations, joys, challenges, and sorrows,” Scruggs said.
And although Scruggs admits that the program primarily targets middle-aged and senior viewers, he said that many of the topics are still relevant to teens and young adults as well.
Scruggs said that the response he has seen from students on campus has been largely positive.
“The show gives students an opportunity to see and hear ‘real live’ folks talk about sociology concerns that [many] have discussed [in class],” Scruggs said.
Sara Neumann, a Chattanooga sophomore, said having a campus-produced show was a unique resource that students should take advantage of.
“I don’t think a lot of people are aware of it,” Neumann said. “I hadn’t even heard anything about it until recently, but it’s definitely something worth paying attention to. I don’t think local issues get the attention they deserve, and anything devoted to that, in my opinion, is really important.”
Neumann said that although she had never attended a taping on campus, she had seen it on television a handful of times and was interested in following it more in the future.
Harrison, Tenn., sophomore Blake Smith, said that he had never heard of Point of View, but he felt it was something students should be made more aware of.
“I think it’s an interesting idea,” Smith said. “Something that focuses on fleshing out local issues is important, especially for college kids.”
Despite its importance, Smith said he was skeptical as to whether other students would be interested in the show.
The program is taped on the university campus once a month, and the show is aired on Channel 12 WDEF-TV each Saturday except the first in each month at 6:30 a.m., and on Comcast Cable 3 each day at various times.
Tapings, filmed at UTC, are open to those on campus, and students are encouraged to come.

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