Pac-12 Students Help Produce Broadcasts
Pac-12 Networks Coordinating Producer Keith Hirshland is enjoying training students all across the conference.
He may want to be careful, though. They may have eyes on his job someday.
As part of the Pac-12 Networks commitment to involve students with their operations, the production crews for every live event include students from the campus on which the game originates. The students serve as runners, statisticians, stage managers and more.
“The universities own the networks. We want to make sure there is an education component,” Hirshland said. “We try to teach them the basics. A lot of them want to make a career of this, so they come in with great enthusiasm. Our hope is to lay the foundation for them.”
Students join crews with varying degrees of production experience or knowledge. Some undergo a crash course hours before the game airs. Others, like students at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, have already been exposed to some of the work they are being called upon to do.
“It gives them some great hands-on experience,” said Mike Wong, Director of Career Services at the Cronkite School. “Hopefully, it will allow them to make some contacts as well. It’s a great philosophy. What better education can be a better supplement than on the field or on the court. It’s a great opportunity for our students.”
Megan Stewart, a senior in the Cronkite School, has worked as a runner at two Arizona State home football games and said it’s been an enriching experience.
“It’s really great to have the Pac-12 Network helping out the students,” Stewart said. “Eventually, the students are going to be the people that are working for the networks. Everyone has been so nice and helpful. I’ve asked a million questions and definitely integrating more and more into the process. It’s been a great opportunity.”
Pac-12 Networks Director of Remote Operations Kristianna Bryant said the intent is to expose students to as many areas of the production process as possible, with the hope that they will set an ambitious course in television.
“Down the road, our hope is they can produce things that will air on the networks,” Bryant said. “The way we look at it, we are an offshoot of educational institutions. It’s a terrific opportunity for them. Those who understand that can get a whole lot out of it.”