On January 30 at 5 p.m., over a dozen University of South Florida St. Petersburg students went live on-screen and behind the scenes to kick off season two of their webcast, the Bullcast.
The Bullcast is a USF student-led webcast that was created for students interested in a different media experience than traditional journalism, like the student newspaper, The Crow’s Nest. The webcast is filmed in the studio room in the journalism building and allows students a look at what goes on behind the scenes in a real-life film studio.
Chris Campbell, an adjunct Digital Communication professor at USF St. Petersburg and the Bullcast advisor, acknowledges that he is not a traditional journalist. Campbell and the journalism department head, Casey Frechette, both had the idea of creating a webcast years ago but needed to wait for enough people to fill in the different roles.
“Before it was just Casey, myself and two other students and it was just kinda this crazy idea we had,” said Campbell. “This is not traditional [journalism], it’s more of a live show.”
Students can choose what positions they want to partake in depending on their past experience or experience they want to gain. The roles are what you would typically see in the film industry, such as lighting, camera operator, hosts, set designer, editors and producers. Some roles are newer additions, like social media managers. Avery Jennings, a senior majoring in Digital Communication, said that she joined because it would be a good opportunity to learn techniques to help her with her photography business.
“I’m here ‘cause I want to learn lighting so I can be better at studio stuff,” said Jennings. “My mom got me soft box lighting for Christmas…I want to learn how to use it so I can use it for my business and do like editorial work.”
While at one of their planning meetings, before they go live from 5 to 5:30 p.m., there were two people contributing over Zoom. Campbell encourages any students that want to contribute to the Bullcast to do so, either by sending in images or videos or participating in any kind of editing. Participants do not even have to be journalism or media students.
“We need any kind of help; it could be anything. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into this that is not during the actual show,” said Campbell.
Co-producer of the Bullcast, Jenna Fournier, says that the Bullcast continues to grow and change, as a handful of students have joined this semester, while a few graduated.
The Bullcast allows students to cross the line into webcasting and podcasting that they normally wouldn’t get to learn or experience in their journalism classes. The webcast allows professors to take a step into teaching future journalists or media creators aspects of media that are becoming more popular today.