was in the third grade when she gathered with her family around
the television set to watch President Nixon's resignation. But Book
was most interested in the newscasters, not the gravity of the moment.
the power of television in that moment," recalls Book, assistant
professor of communications. "These men were filtering it for
us, putting it in perspective so we understood."
Book went on
to become a producer and reporter at the CBS affiliate in Baton
Rouge, La., and to host a talk show on higher education at WCOX-TV
in Macon, Ga.
Like many of
the faculty in Elon's School of Communications, she decided to bring
her newsroom experience into the classroom so she could mentor others.
I'm in the classroom, I'm able to give my students real-world examples
of what we're talking about," says Book, who came to Elon in
1999. "When you hear a faculty member worked in a newsroom,
there is automatic credibility there, but you have to stay engaged
in the industry to keep it relevant to students."
Book has distinguished
herself as a scholar of digital TV. She has written Digital Television:
DTV and the Consumer, the first book to focus on consumer responses
to the government-mandated transition from analog television to
digital. She also examines emerging digital TV technologies, explaining
how each technology works and laying out the factors that consumers
should consider in purchasing a new TV.
has spawned high-definition television, which is the highest level
of video quality that can be transmitted in digital format. But
the switch to digital has less to do with picture quality than freeing
up airspace, according to Book. In 2006, after a switch that will
be 10 years in the making, the government expects to raise $60 billion
by auctioning off newly available airspace to communications companies,
Book has studied
the transition to digital television for eight years and received
four grants from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
to study consumers' digital TV habits.
for the subject was fueled by her work with Capitol Broadcasting
in Raleigh, N.C., which pioneered the development of high definition
technology. She was part of the team that tested the first HDTV
sets ever produced, and studied the reactions of viewers who experienced
high definition television in their homes.
She also worked
with Elon students during field studies that showed that retail
sales representatives frequently receive little training and usually
know little about the new technologies in their stores.
for learning is infectious. Her teaching and research inspired Jessica
Rivelli '02 to document the analog-to-digital transformation of
WFMY, Greensboro's CBS affiliate. "What is so amazing about
Dr. Book is that she has such a command of the subject," says
Rivelli, currently a producer with ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa,
Fla. "She is really at the top of her game when it comes to
knowing digital TV."
Little is equally impressed with Book. She credits the research
she did with Book with helping her land an internship with Factiva,
a Dow Jones & Reuters joint venture, based in London.
the use of real-life scenarios, utilization of industry publications
and the ability to make students think analytically, Dr. Book truly
brings students into the world of media," Little says.
students in her research is paramount to Book, who marvels at the
technological changes that have taken place in the media since she
was in school.
had tremendous feedback from students who have gone into the workplace
knowing more about digital TV than many of the people at the stations,"