The Springfield College communications/sports journalism major is continuing to evolve, and that includes recent changes to the radio station, television club and website.
WSCB 89.9: The Birthplace and SCTV3 have both undergone transformations not only in the past year, but since their current advisors, (Kyle Belanger and Jody Santos) arrived on Alden Street two years ago. The website, scstudentmedia.com, has also evolved since its founding by recent 2012 graduates Justin Felisko, Ryan Matlack and Corey Hanlon nearly a year ago. This has been in large part to senior Jimmy Kelley, who is a critical part of the website’s success and progress.
Kyle Belanger began teaching at Springfield College two years ago and has been the advisor to the radio station since arriving. He has noticed many differences from the day he first stepped in the station until today.
“When I first arrived, there was no signal. We went from not broadcasting at all, to close to 70 hours of programming a week,” Belanger said. “This year we’re hoping for close to 100 hours a week.”
While a 30 hour per week increase may seem like a lot, it is certainly possible given all that has been added recently.
“We’ve also had physical additions to the studio. We now have a production studio,” Belanger explained. “The room that you see through the window, where you first walk in wasn’t there when I got here.”
Another new and exciting change to the radio station is the impending move to the Internet. This will bring more popularity to the station, while the DJ’s can not only have their friends listening on the radio, but also by tuning in online. Additionally, like many clubs, WSCB has some particular goals set out for the semester and school year. Belanger has three in mind.
“The first goal is increasing the awareness. People can listen whenever they want to by just turning on the radio,” Belanger said. “Another goal is complementing the FM signal with Internet streaming. Not only can you get us in your car, but you can also get it on your phone, home computer, etc.
“Another goal, lastly, is service to the community. Not only the SC community, but also service to the community of Springfield and other surrounding areas,” Belanger said.
A club as successful as WSCB is not a one man job either. The radio station is succeeding because of Belanger, WSCB President Gabby DeMarchi, and even men who are not technically part of the station.
“We’re moving to the head of the class in the automation increase. I’d like to credit Danny Davis and people like Dean [David] Braverman. It’s because of them that we’ve been able to make that big upgrade,” Belanger said.
For the TV club, there have been arguably even more leaps and bounds. Jody Santos has been the advisor for SCTV3 since she came to Springfield College two years ago. She has been particularly satisfied with the new equipment recently installed in the studio.
“We have a new virtual studio. We have all new digital cameras, new microphones; last year we got the tri-caster, which is the virtual studio. Really, we’re just getting a lot more professional,” Santos said.
Another important advancement with the club is that they will be broadcasting live from all of the home football games this year. Santos feels that on the whole, the club is getting more professional and continuing to evolve.
“First of all, we’re going to start a weekly newscast. We’re tying it into scstudentmedia,” Santos said. “It’s really a collaboration between the two.”
In terms of goals for the TV club, Santos also has a couple that she feels are critical to the club’s success this year.
“I think that the first goal is to keep a weekly news show. Even if we have a minimum number of news stories and readers,” Santos said. “The immediate goal of the TV club is to do the three remaining [home] football games. If that goes well, it will continue into the basketball season.”
Similar to how Belanger views the radio station, Santos has been incredibly impressed with the huge difference in the TV studio since her arrival.
“The whole studio has gone from almost nothing to a very big improvement. It’s been an incredible learning curve for me and the students,” Santos said. “Students can now say that they go into an interview saying ‘Yeah, I’ve done a WordPress blog, InDesign, Final Cut Pro, etc.”
The most recent addition to the Springfield College COSJ media family is the student-run website, scstudentmedia.com. Founded in October 2011 by Felisko, Matlack and Hanlon, scstudentmedia.com is now being spearheaded by senior Jimmy Kelley.
While the website was in its infancy last year, the goal was to simply give the newspaper an online presence. Now, there are much more specific objectives for the site.
“We were trying to adjust to the 24-hour news cycle by getting more breaking stuff up constantly,” Kelley said. “As sports editor, I want every home game covered, so we have game stories going up every time there’s a home game.”
A significant difference with the website from where it was a year ago is how it looks. The entire home page has been altered and has a much “cleaner” look to it. There are links and tabs for many categories such as sports, staff, and about us, as well as links to the radio and TV pages. Kelley has seen some other, much bigger universities’ student-run websites and sees a clear uniqueness in The Springfield Student’s.
“I think what’s unique is the look. If you look at some of the other schools – I’ve looked at the University of Missouri’s and NYU’s – they have online web pages. I just think ours looks better. It looks like a better functioning site,” Kelley said.
Like WSCB and SCTV3, scstudentmedia also has some goals for this upcoming year.
“I’m hoping that as the year goes on, we’ll have kind of a three-pronged attack on every story. We’ll have a newspaper story, we’ll have maybe a podcast, and we’ll have a video,” Kelley said. “We’ll have some other element to the story besides the newspaper story or besides the TV feature.”
WSCB, SCTV3, and scstudentmedia.com have all grown over the past couple of years. In the website’s case, it has gone from simply being established to being a very visually-appealing, informational media outlet. Though all three have been improved, Belanger, Santos and Kelley still realize that there is more work to be done. Here’s to a year of accomplishing all of the goals set out, and proving that the Springfield College communications/sports journalism major is only getting better!