Workshop teaches sportscasting in 48 hours

Audrie Osterman • July 17, 2017
Group posing in studio
Participants of the High School Journalism Institute’s first sportscasting mini-workshop pose in the Ken and Audrey Beckley Studio. Students produced video broadcasts and podcasts (Galen Clavio | The Media School)

Film. Edit. Repeat.

That’s what mastering the craft of sports broadcasting comes down to, at least in the beginning, said Galen Clavio, associate professor of sports media and director of the National Sports Journalism Center.

He was welcoming a group of high school students attending the High School Journalism Institute’s first weekend sportscasting mini-workshop. Of the 16 students in the program, 11 said they’d never had any experience with sports broadcasting before. The goal of the program was to get them started, he said, and then they could begin the repetition.

“So much of what you do in the business of sports media comes down to getting your hands on the equipment, getting in front of the camera,” he said. “Most of the people you see on TV, they started and they had no more idea of what they were doing anymore than you do.”

The High School Journalism Institute has offered summer workshops for 71 years, typically in two or three five-day sessions during the week. This year, for the first time, HSJI added the mini-workshop on the weekend in between the five-day sessions.

Some of the students were staff members at their high school television broadcasts and attended the camp to gain skills to bring back to the production. William Grimm said his school, Lyons Township (Ill.) High School has a studio, but most of his experience is limited to news. He was interested in transferring those skills to sports and experimenting with podcasting.

But Kendall Smith of Weddington (N.C.) High School attended the mini-workshop to venture into broadcast. She attended a writing class at HSJI in 2016.

“I love writing, but I really want to go into actual broadcast,” Smith said.

The workshop lasted just 48 hours, July 14-16. Friday, students interviewed IU athletes on camera at the Mark Cuban Center of Sports Media and Technology in Assembly Hall and then toured the facilities.

Saturday, students worked in the Beckley Studio, learning how to operate and read a teleprompter. Then they took a crash course in scriptwriting, wrote the scripts for their broadcasts and went back to the studio to record their scripts. Finally, they edited their standup and interview footage to create their TV packages.

They dedicated Sunday to podcasting, both recording and editing.

Clavio and Teresa White, senior lecturer and director of the High School Journalism Institute, conceived the mini-workshop idea several years ago, but they decided to wait until The Media School moved into Franklin Hall, White said. This also allowed time for IU Athletics to complete the Cuban Center. The program’s curriculum depended on the use of cutting-edge technology and facilities.

“By far, from a technical perspective, we’re in better shape right now than we ever have been,” Clavio said.

HSJI’s second and final five-day session of the year runs through Thursday.