Ouachita Sports activities Digital Community airs first broadcasts from new manufacturing trailer

A team of nine students from Ouachita Baptist University on the Ouachita Sports Digital Network (OSDN) recorded and produced their first series of programs from a new production trailer on the weekend of January 23-24, and then distributed them to fans via tiger swimming and basketball -Events reported a 10-month hiatus from Ouachita and all NCAA Division II sporting events due to COVID-19.

OSDN was launched in 2020 in response to the growth and interest in sports media focus areas in Ouachita’s Communication and Media major to provide students with hands-on experience while they were still in school. This semester, the OSDN team includes around 30 students interested in watching sports.

Chris Babb, communication teacher and director of Ouachita’s sports media productions, will lead the students on their first show on the weekend of January 23-24. Photo by Jeff Root.

“We have three or four who want to work piece by piece, we have some who want to go behind the camera, and we have some who enjoy directing,” said Chris Babb, communications teacher and director of Ouachita’s sports media productions. “We try to distribute people to do different jobs, stretch them and help them learn.”

The new production trailer, made possible by a generous donation to the program, requires more workspaces for students interested in different roles, and allows the OSDN team to cover more than one Tiger sporting event at a time – an important feature during one busy sports season. Fourteen of Ouachita’s 15 sports teams will be competing in intercollegiate competitions this semester after many seasons were canceled or postponed over the past year due to the pandemic.

“The equipment in the trailer allows us to practice more for the students,” Babb said. “It opens up a number of different jobs and is more of a real show they could work on after they graduate.”

For Matthew Branch, a senior communications and media / sports media major from Bauxite, Ark., The new kit has allowed OSDN students to “focus more on the production itself and have more time to prepare and study.”

“I feel like we’re doing what the pros do, albeit on a smaller scale,” said Branch. “With the trailer, I really feel like we’re really a sports network and can put together the best shows in the region and at the conference.”

“We are grateful that our donor sees the potential and value of our work,” said Dr. Jeff Root, Dean of the School of Humanities and the Huckabee School of Education. “They recognized the talent among the students and wanted to be part of it.”

The trailer “has allowed us to improve the type and quality of equipment we work with and it makes a huge difference with students,” added Root.

OSDN currently has 63 events planned that will broadcast nearly a dozen Ouachita teams this semester.

“Especially this spring with a lot of sports and parents not being able to do all the events to see their sons and daughters play, the trailer gives us a second set of equipment that we can broadcast with at the same time,” said Babb. “It takes more students, but we have students who are willing to work and appreciate the experience.”

Main Photo: Blythe Epp, a sophomore communications, media, and film studies student and OSDN member of Aurora, Neb., Is filming a men’s basketball game in Ouachita on Jan. 23. January marked OSDN’s first sports broadcast with the new production trailer, following a 10-month hiatus from NCAA Division II sporting events due to COVID-19. Photo by Levi Dade.

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