STORY BY MOLLY ADAMSON
From high school students to Olympic athletes, the Drake Relays brings in many people to the Des Moines area.
But for those who may not be able to come out and see the event Drake University has its own TV broadcasting network that brings Relays to people.
Drake Broadcasting System (DBS) provides another outlet for people to watch. It broadcasts live on the big screen in the field house and online.
DBS provides a whole new level to Relays, DBS President Amanda Horvath said. “It gives students access to a front row seat to the Relays (behind a camera).”
“It also gives anyone who is interested the experience of a lifetime. We are able to give students experience in live reporting, producing, directing and camera operating,” Horvath said “People use this experience to apply for jobs and it’s a fun memory.”
Horvath remembers why she got involved with DBS.
“I got involved because I have wanted to work in the broadcast news industry since I was 10-years-old, and I wanted to do anything and everything to get more experience in the field. Plus having a radio show is one of the most fun things I’ve done at Drake,” Horvath said.
Jeorgie Smith, a broadcast news and politics double major, is the chief editor for the broadcast. She could also remember how she got involved with the program.
“I got involved kind of by accident,” Smith said. “One of my friends was a part of DBS and so I emailed last year’s president asking how to get involved and then some how ended up on the executive board,” Smith said
Smith also has fond memories from her time with DBS thus far.
“I think my favorite memory is just spending time with everyone involved,” Smith said. “We tend to get crazier the more time we spend together so we ride chairs down the slope of the basement, run around campus with a Phantom of the Opera costume and do just about anything that pops in to our head,” Smith said.
DBS begins the process of preparing for the Relays early. Reporters and commentators are hired in November and December, and then promotional videos get made to spread the word about the broadcast.
Mariah Lewis, the executive producer for the telecast, voiced her concerns about making sure the broadcast goes smoothly.
“I’m worried that I will lose my mind,” Lewis said.
She then went on to explain the challenge DBS will face when broadcasting the Relays.
“Live TV in and of itself is always a nightmare,” Lewis said. “When you’re doing live TV you have no control over what happens. Inevitably, something is going to go wrong. My biggest concern is making sure whatever goes wrong is fixable. I guess I’m worried about the big stuff, like getting on the air, making sure things play and making sure we don’t sound dumb. I focus on the little things because little things add up to big things.”
DBS try something new this year, by bringing the Relays to the campus radio station.
Not only will the two mediums share content, but also some of the content will be played solely on the radio.
Lewis, as the program director for Drake’s radio station, came up with this idea.
Football games and basketball games get covered on the radio frequently, but this is the first time any track event will be broadcasted.
Where the entire DBS crew knows, they will face challenges during the broadcast, there is also plenty to benefit from Lewis said.
“You haven’t lived until you’ve been in a control room of a live broadcast,” Lewis said.
“There’s nothing in the world that can compare to this. It’s not comparable to anything, except maybe trying to survive a tornado. It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s all very rewarding.”