While two Bryan County High School students appear as anchors for the introductory and closing segments being recorded in the studio, two of their classmates interview a lineup of baseball players in the hallway just outside the classroom door.
It’s all in a morning’s studies for the Broadcast Communication class. Not only do they keep the entire school updated on BCHS sports through an on-campus TV show each Friday, they also reach out to the community via the Internet in partnership with the Bryan County News.
Brandon Eason, a senior, serves as what you might call the director for the broadcasts, although the title isn’t official.
“Brandon pretty much runs the whole deal,” said Broadcast Communication teacher Inga Cashon. “I mean, I help him, but he’s the one who edits, sets up the interviews. ... It’s totally student-run.”
The end product is subject to her supervision and the approval of the principal.
Friday’s on-campus broadcast, “BCHS News,” airs around lunchtime, lasts 15 minutes and is viewed by the entire school, Cashon said. For the Bryan County News website, accessible to pretty much the entire wired world, students shoot a separate three-minute video called “BCHS News Network.”
Despite the name, the content is pretty much all sports. Eason said the community doesn’t seem to get enough of the school’s sports, so the broadcasts help fill the need. For example, last week’s installment involved a recap of basketball season’s concluding games, while the baseball player interviews were for a look forward to the new season.
The time students put into making the broadcasts greatly exceeds the 15-minute duration of the school show, let alone the three-minute webcast. Eason attended all of the football games, or at least all of the home games, the only ones the shows covered in detail.
He then got some help with basketball season and will now be going to baseball games.
“From the filming all the way up the editing, it takes a lot of work,” he said. “You have to be really focused to get it done on the deadline date.”
Eason has been accepted to East Georgia College’s communications and broadcasting program and said he would love to land an internship at a Savannah TV station.
All 28 students in the Broadcast Communication class find some role in the production process, Cashon said, although some never appear on the screen.
“When they come in and they learn the different steps, they all find a different role,” she said. “Some of them decide they want to be the cameraperson. Some of them decide they want to be the person that edits behind the scenes. Some want to go on-camera and some don’t.”
Cashon has been teaching the course for three years now. It occupies a 90-minute block each morning, and students take it for just one semester per year, although some repeat from year to year and some remain involved in the broadcasts after completing the class. Victoria Williams, who previously took Broadcast Communication but is now in another of Cashon’s classes, edits the Friday on-campus broadcasts.
In the hallway last week, Allie Peny was an on-camera personality interviewing baseball players, while Taylor Mason operated the camera. Back in the studio, sophomore Chris Morgan and junior James Pewitt anchored the segment.
“We’re always coming up with ways to make our projects better,” Morgan said, explaining why the work often continues until deadline day. “Sometimes we record them again.”
Morgan is interested in a communications career, possibly journalism or something involving public speaking. Pewitt said he is interested in TV production.
But they wouldn’t have made it onto the screen without the help of sophomore Ryan Hires, a self-described “technical guy” who set up the green screen that became their invisible backdrop and pulled up the script on the teleprompter. He aspires to a career as a game designer.
Also working off camera in the studio was junior Courtney Tison, who said she enjoys doing this stuff right now but wants to be a dentist.