Story courtesy of The Bison

SEARCY, Ark. – Two anchors from Harding’s student broadcast HU16 began producing independent podcasts in their homes during April following quarantine. With HU16 on hiatus, senior Maxwell Ross and junior Jackson Duncan put their television production skills to use, entertaining others isolated at home. Both podcasts premiered their first episodes April 14 and were posted across multiple media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube and Anchor.

Duncan, who has been an HU16 anchor since fall 2018, said working with television production prepared him for producing his podcast, “The Sports Tea with JD.” Focused on sports in the Nashville area, Duncan remotely interviewed local sports professionals, a skill he fostered as an HU16 anchor. Duncan also became familiar with the equipment and editing required to produce a podcast through working regularly with a microphone and editing software for TV video packages.

“Hosting a podcast is different than being an HU16 anchor because it is not going out live to the public,” Duncan said. “However, it’s similar in the fact I’m recording interviews with these people, and I only get one shot at it.”

Ross, who debuted as an HU16 anchor this year, produced and hosted “The Haywell Show” with co-host senior Hayley Baca. Ross and Baca created “The Haywell Show” to provide others in isolation with entertainment. Including games, book reviews and deep discussions, their podcast covers a wide variety of topics. Ross said the skills he gained working as an anchor taught him many of the technical aspects of production, and the podcast allowed Ross to continue storytelling after HU16 went on hiatus.

“From writing content to ensuring a smooth flow through the show to even some editing, I was able to watch and learn from many people in the HU16 team to prepare me to make my own [podcast],” Ross said. “I was an anchor so the stuff that I learned — like placement of media in the frame, simple cuts movements — came from simply watching.”

Dr. Ginger Blackstone, assistant professor of broadcast journalism and HU16 news director, said working on a live television production provides students with skills that translate well into several careers. Students in anchor roles often gain performance skills that translate well into presentations and future interviews, Blackstone said. They also learn composure under pressure.

“Our anchors also learn how to keep it together when things go wrong,” Blackstone said. “We cannot start over. Live television is live, and anchors are put on the spot if something goes wrong. We keep going regardless of what happens.