New TV show to 'discover' region

Monday, September 19, 2005

Jim Dufek doesn't want his new television show, "Discover Cape," to just let viewers know what's going on in the area.

He wants to tell stories.

"I want to go behind the scenes," he said. "If we do a story about a new bridge being built, I want people to meet and learn something about the guys building the bridge. I want to make it interesting."

Dufek is a mass communications professor who teaches television courses at Southeast Missouri State University. He knows what he's doing. In fact, when the producers for the movie "Killshot," were in town over the summer, Dufek was the one who was asked to come along to take video and still photography shots.

But he's interested in more than other people's projects. He's got ideas of his own.

As a member of the most recent class of Leadership Cape -- the Chamber of Commerce program that grooms upcoming leaders -- Dufek's group pitched a television show that would highlight people, places and projects in Southeast Missouri.

But it was already in the works before that. Dufek proposed to the Convention and Visitor's Bureau a new television show that would also serve as a learning tool for TV students. In conjunction with his Leadership Cape group and with the help of his students, Dufek already has prepared the first show.

It will air at 6:30 p.m. on the first Friday of every month on UPN, the Beat. He sees it as sort of a mix between public television and the CBS "Sunday Morning" program. He wants his stories to take their time, tell themselves at their own pace.

"I don't want to be afraid to let the story tell itself," he said. "We want the stories to draw the viewer in. We don't want to do what traditional newscasts do -- 30 seconds on a story."

Each segment would last six to seven minutes, he said.

Some stories he wants to do are on the proposed aquatic center, the River Campus and the new downtown murals and the recent HOG rally. He's even started working on some of them.

The new show will take 25-30 people each month and hundreds of man hours, Dufek said.

"We want to spark some interest in some things that many people may not know about," he said. "At the same time, we want our show to have some respect for the human element."

Dufek has devoted a year to the television show. He wants to see if he can get it aired on other outlets, such as cable access, where there's a good opportunity for repeat airings.

CVB executive director Chuck Martin said the show could be a boost for the city's tourism.

"If he's able to focus on the tourism aspect and some opportunities for people to take advantage of, I think that's pretty positive stuff," Martin said.

Martin said that he and Dufek developed an earlier incarnation of the show a year of two ago. He thinks Dufek wants to expand on the same theme.

"What he's looking at is taking that piece and incorporating it to a much broader appeal," Martin said.

Martin also agreed that Dufek is a good choice to do this show.

"He's been a tremendous resource for me," Martin said. "He not only has the expertise, but he's a really good guy who can make this happen."

Jim has made one questionable decision that really could sink this show before it even begins: He's invited me to appear on it.

With my face? Maybe he ought to rethink that.

On a separate note, our upcoming issues focus on women in business and dining and entertainment. If you know a good person or business that would make a good story, give me a call. My contact information is listed below. Thanks again.

Scott Moyers is editor of Business Today. Contact him at or 335-6611, extension 137.

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