The sports broadcast journalists of tomorrow are practicing their craft today through Suffolk Sports Broadcasting, which employs a team of students to broadcast University sporting events live to the Web.
In broadcasts that rival those seen on network television, students from the Communication and Journalism Department serve as both technical crew and on-air announcers.
At the core of Suffolk Sports Broadcasting is the course “Special Topics: Sports Broadcasting,” launched during the 2012 spring semester. The class got its start streaming multi-camera broadcasts of basketball and volleyball games from the Regan Gymnasium.
It took a crew of 12 students -- three camera operators, director, technical director, play-by-play announcer, color commentator, two sideline reporters, graphics person, scoreboard person, and audio mixer -- to fully cover each event.
“I love to interview people and I love to work behind the scenes,” said Karina Bolster, a senior broadcast journalism major and a member of the women’s softball team. “The class teaches you so much, like time management and how you always have to be prepared.”
“The opportunity is invaluable,” said Andrew Morse, a junior and broadcast journalism major. “I don’t know where else I can get the hands-on experience that I receive from this class. I want to learn everything I can about the different aspects of the business so I can prepare myself for the workforce.”
Professor Frank Irizarry, who has worked as a sports television and radio commentator, has teamed up with Director of Video Production Jason Carter, Assistant Manager for Studio 73 Keith Erickson, and Media Lab Coordinator Aleksandar Lekic to get Suffolk Sports Broadcasting off the ground.
“The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the field of sports media and sports broadcasting,” said Irizarry, who teaches students research, writing, and how to perform on camera. “It is also designed to give them the practical experience of what it takes to cover a game.”
Carter, who has been a camera operator at Patriots, Celtics and Bruins games for many years, serves as producer.
“This course is great training for the sports broadcasting field, whether you’re in front or behind the camera,” he said. “We want our students to produce quality broadcasts similar to what you will find on network television or ESPN.”
Erickson and Lekic teach students the technical side of the business, including how to run a camera, use a microphone, and set up all the equipment needed to broadcast a sporting event.
The instructional team plans to introduce radio broadcasts of sporting events in fall 2012.
“The opportunity to showcase our athletic teams to a wider audience of parents, alumni and so many others is further complemented by offering the opportunity for Suffolk University students to enhance their skills in all aspects of live online sports broadcasting,” said Athletics Director James Nelson.