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America’s broadcasting standard

Drake’s student-run Relays broadcast is the national standard

Each year, ordinary Drake students — with the expert guidance of the Drake Broadcasting System (DBS) student leaders — do something extraordinary.

They produce the Drake Relays television coverage that is aired locally on cable channel 16 and online on the DBS website. It is the largest student-run television broadcast in the country; more than 60 Drake students help make the broadcast possible each year.

This year’s DBS Relays broadcast will air on Friday from 1–3 p.m. and Saturday from 2:30–4:30 p.m., with a half-hour preview show airing on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. These timeslots feature full commentary and sideline reporting from Drake students. In all, eight students will act as on-air talent and many more will support them behind the scenes. Other student roles include camera operation, support from the booth, direction for the stadium and dogTV, audio production, replays and archives, field and floor production, and logistics management.

Along with the broadcast, DBS is responsible for providing video footage and replays for the stadium feed. In order to fulfill this task, the broadcast team will begin preparing at 6:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday of the Relays for a full day of shooting starting at 8 a.m. To capture all the action, students work in two-hour shifts as camera workers and producers. Before and after the full DBS Relays coverage, the stadium footage will air on channel 16 without commentary.

“Covering one of the largest track and field events in the nation ensures the consistent need for camera workers and other volunteers,” says Autumn Moore, DBS president, Relays executive producer and radio/TV production major. “We train our volunteers before the Relays and allow for flexible shift scheduling, so it’s fun and easy for anyone to get involved.”

With all the moving parts of the production, preparation is key. Moore says that most of her energy is spent making sure the script and the production of the live broadcasts is coordinated and prepared. Other producers fill key roles in making sure that camera workers are ready to film and the right shots are on the screen all day long.

For electronic media majors and other journalism students, the Relays broadcast is an impressive resume builder. Being a student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is not a requirement for participation, however.

“It’s a cool opportunity for anyone on campus,” Moore says. “Students see the Relays in a way they never have before.”

For DBS, Relays is a showcase of Drake’s broadcasting talent, but hardly its only production. Students from many educational backgrounds host and produce shows throughout the year on dogTV as well as Drake’s radio station, 94.1 The Dog.

DBS is also responsible for capturing video at campus happenings. This year, DBS has focused on helping organizations shoot and air their events on campus for more visibility and publicity.

“We’ve really tried to shift our focus this year to covering events live,” Moore says. “Throughout the year, we’ve covered a wide-range, from Student Senate meetings to sports events.”

For more information about the Drake Broadcasting System, contact DBS President Autumn Moore at autumn.moore@drake.edu.