Matt Broughton realized his interruptible feedback (IFB) earpiece had stopped working mid-newscast. He uses the device to communicate with the control room.
The senior broadcast student was co-anchoring with fellow student-journalist Mitzi Cardenas during the annual Global News Relay (GNR) when he lost audio connection during a live conversation with student-journalists from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
The experience was a learning curve, Broughton said, one that prepared him for the “real world” after he graduates in May.
“I had to solely rely on my co-anchor and just the camera,” he said.
But the technical difficulties were an obstacle quickly overcome by Broughton and the rest of the “Fresno State Focus” broadcast team as they participated in the news relay.
Seventeen universities from 10 different countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, took part in the seven-hour worldwide broadcast.
Each newsroom created packages of 15 to 30 minutes of prerecorded content discussing their community with this year’s theme: shelter.
The participating universities submitted pre-filmed video packages showing homelessness, regional housing conditions and resources from within their local areas.
After the packages were aired, Fresno State anchors held a live interview with students from each university, discussing the process of finding, creating and editing their stories.
“It was nice to be able to have that commonality that we could talk about, and it was interesting to see the stuff that’s going on here is actually going on in different countries,” Broughton said.
Fresno State co-hosted the newscast with Ryerson University and the Asian College of Journalism in India.
Katie Gogo, a senior broadcast student, opened the show with co-anchor Elisa Navarro. Gogo said even though she had commentary and questions prepared before the show, sitting at the newsdesk during the live newscast gave her with new perspectives.
“It’s a lot more impactful after watching it while I’m actually on set and seeing how much these students put into their projects and their packages,” Gogo said.
She said that her favorite role was sitting at the desk because it provided the opportunity to gain more experience that will hopefully move her toward a career goal of anchoring professionally.
Gogo and Navarro spoke with students from Japan and then China during the first hour of the news relay. Gogo said that while these students may come from places thousands of miles away, they face issues similar to those within the United States.
“Even though they’re on the other side of the world, their problems are similar to ours, so it was easy to have a conversation with them, and I think we’re all so invested in this topic,” Gogo said.
Students auditioned in March to participate in the newscast, each being assigned rotating positions between crew (production) and talent (on-air).
Brittany Steele, a sophomore broadcast student, is finishing up her first year in the major. She worked as the floor director for the first two hours of the newscast. She was the liaison between the control room and the talent for camera cues and anchor performance.
She said a lot of work and energy goes into creating a show of this magnitude.
“I used to be one of those people who saw the anchors on TV and thought, ‘Oh it’s that simple’, but once I got into the major and seeing how it goes on I see how much work goes into it,” Steele said.
Seven hours later, when it was over, the experience proved to be a rewarding one for the Focus students.
“I think Fresno State is a very unique college, and our major is very unique in that we get to have opportunities like this,” Broughton said.