By Tristan E. M. Leach
RIDER’S students, staff and faculty work to find ways to ensure that students have firsthand experience in their chosen field of study. From student teaching to 107.7 The Bronc, there is an opportunity for all. Now, thanks to the athletics department and some passionate faculty members, there is an opportunity to expand the horizons of broadcast and sports media.
For the first time this semester, a class that focuses on Bronc Vision, the broadcasting of Division I sports at Rider, is being offered to students. The class was the idea of several Rider employees, including Anthony Corbi and Shawn Kildea. Corbi, assistant AD for video and live event production, graduated last semester and found that Bronc Vision had prepared him for the world of sports media and broadcasting.
“I’ve always wanted to make [Bronc Vision] more of a student-driven experience,” said Corbi. “I’m hoping next semester and in the next academic year that I can get more students involved in not just broadcast, but other aspects of multimedia.”
Until this semester, Bronc Vision was purely an employee-based organization, and student workers made a salary. While this is still true, the class has expanded the amount of workers and the amount of coverage. Unlike other schools that can afford freelance broadcasters, Rider relies on their students to cover games. In 2018, Rider got an ESPN production trailer where work is done for the live broadcasting of the games. This, along with the passionate students and faculty such as Corbi, allowed for the organization to expand.
“The idea is that we’re moving away from the outside help and more training students to be able to do not just camera but also how to work in the production truck,” said Corbi.
Students in the class learn how to operate the cameras and a playback machine and how to make graphics appear on the screen of those watching at home or looking at the jumbotron. The class requires that all students cover a minimum of nine events throughout the semester. While these students are not paid, the experience makes up for it. The class allows students to learn broadcast skills that they could use to become freelance broadcasters.
There is also hope that students of the class will want to work for Bronc Vision as an employee. Students like Kimmy Sokol, a senior sports media major, joined Bronc Vision her freshman year and found that she loved it. Sokol has since then enhanced her skills through the opportunities that Bronc Vision has provided her.
“That’s the great thing about Rider. You can get involved here from day one,” said Sokol.
Sokol initially wanted to be in front of the camera when it came to working games but found that the behind the scenes opportunities prepared her just as well for the job she wanted.
“If you put in the work more opportunities will be granted to you. My freshman year I had no experience in this field. I kept working really hard and showing up. Last year all the hard work paid off and I got to go Atlantic City and be a part of the crew for the MAAC [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference] Tournament,” said Sokol.
It is opportunities and experiences like Sokol’s that appeal to students and steadily, more have become interested in the class and Bronc Vision as a whole.
Emily O’Connor, a freshman film and television major, found herself interested in the class and the fieldwork component. O’Connor had never had the opportunity to work behind the camera in a live production environment.
“I am learning a lot and I’m gaining so many valuable skills. I think [Bronc Vision] is a really good community. Tony [Corbi] is there for us and cares. He sees potential in us and the opportunities that come with this could open a lot of doors,” said O’Connor.
Bronc Vision has opened the doors for students like O’Connor and Sokol, and alumni like Corbi. The hope is that Bronc Vision will grow and the students along with it.
Andrew Xon is The Rider News’ photo editor and is a student in the Bronc Vision class. Xon had no part in the writing or editing of this story.