All in a day's work: USC students go behind the scenes with ESPNU's Campus Connection
Lauren Hinnant is a senior broadcast journalism major from Anderson, S.C., who plans to graduate in December with a minor in political science. Hinnant is looking forward to starting her career as a journalist in local television news.
She is well on her way, working with USC’s “Carolina News” daily television program run by students in the broadcasting track senior semester. Hinnant also has participated in ESPNU’s Campus Connection program, creating content for feature stories during games broadcast on the network and recently spending a telecast behind the scenes with an ESPNU live-game producer.
Hinnant plans to get some work experience before possibly returning to school for a master’s degree in American government. She enjoys hanging out in Columbia with friends and cheering on the Gamecocks’ sports teams. Since she grew up in the shadow of Clemson University, Hinnant is often asked why she chose USC.
“The academic answer is that Clemson doesn't have a journalism school,” she said. “The college student answer is Clemson is 15 minutes from my house and my parents could visit whenever! Go Gamecocks!”
Here is Hinnant’s first-person account of her time with the ESPNU crew at the South Carolina-Florida volleyball match broadcast live on Oct. 19. The video at the end shows a story she did for the network on South Carolina’s back-to-back College World Series championships.
My day with ESPNU, By Lauren Hinnant
I've always been a sports fanatic, but I never wanted to go into sports broadcasting. After working with ESPNU, I found the job was a totally different experience than the notion I had regarding sports on TV.
My job was to shadow the producer of the game, so I spent most of my day in the truck, which was a mobile control room. It was amazing. The truck had tons of monitors that were all filled with different camera views once the match started.
I was able to wear a headset during the game. This allowed me to listen to the producer, director, assistant director and the camera crews on the court.
The producer told me he spent the week studying everything he could about Florida and South Carolina volleyball. He came into the game with a plan, but didn't have a formal rundown like we have in news productions. That was the biggest difference. He was required to think on his feet during the game.
Shadowing the ESPNU crew was an amazing experience and really opened my eyes to the world of sports broadcasting.
I think I will stick with the hard news track I put myself on, however, because the crewmembers were not simply sports fans. They had to live and breathe all sports and know them in and out. For me, it's a hobby I love and will always love, but the ESPNU crew took their love to a whole new level.
I am so thankful for this experience and will use what I learned to further my career upon graduation.
By Web Communications