Spring football is providing game day experiences for Huskers on the field and in the classroom.
While the football squad readies to take the field for the first time under the head coach Scott Frost, students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications spending the week of April 16 learning about sports media and communication.
“For the past five years the college has partnered with the athletic department to offer students the opportunity to observe sports communication in practice at a Big Ten event,” said Amy Struthers, interim dean of journalism and mass communications. “With the launch of our new major in sports media and communication this year, it seemed the perfect opportunity to expand on that tradition and offer our students hands-on experiences in coordination with the Huskers’ annual spring game.”
During Red-White Spring Game week at Nebraska, students are able to learn and experience sports-related media duties via three avenues: a new pop-up course, “Spring Game: Sports Play-by-Play;” working behind scenes in Memorial Stadium during the game; and taking photos on the sidelines under the direction of Bruce Thorson, associate professor of news-editorial.
The pop-up course started April 14 and offers students the chance to work on their sports broadcasting skills during the game. The experience is one in a series of pop-up courses offered by the college. The classes are one-credit hour and allow students the opportunity to experiment with new skills or dig deeper into an area of interest.
The play-by-play course is taught by Jerry Renaud, professor of broadcasting.
In the Spring Game Experience track, more than 40 journalism students will experience the game from Memorial Stadium’s backstage. The students will shadow sports information and HuskerVision professionals, from the signature tunnel walk to post-game press conference.
Inside the stadium, students will be stationed in the Huskers’ social media analytics lab, alongside working journalists in the Don Bryant Media Facility, and inside the HuskerVision control room.
On the field, Thorson will mentor aspiring photojournalists as they capture the scene inside a sold out Memorial Stadium. Thorson has more than 25-years experience in sports photo journalism and regularly works major sporting events for USA Today.
“In the College of Journalism and Mass Communication, we believe that in order to truly learn, students must do,” said John Shrader, assistant professor of broadcasting and sports media and communication coordinator. “Spring game week provides students the opportunity to get out of the classroom, go beyond the textbook and get on the field.”