By Grant Gierhahn ‘20 (lone senior member of BRTV)
When one thinks of clubs or activities unique to Brother Rice, Brother Rice TV (BRTV) should instinctively come to mind. BRTV gives any interested student, from freshman to senior, an exclusive opportunity to not only commentate athletic contests, but also to learn the principles of livestream production and film.
As a program, BRTV has certainly evolved since its inception four years ago. From an insufficiently funded afterthought to a high school broadcast powerhouse, BRTV’s progression has been nothing short of remarkable. Club moderator Patrick Creed, who has a Broadcast Journalism degree from Marquette University, outlined the relatively unconventional origins of BRTV.
“Brian Barkowski thought it would be a great idea to have a broadcasting club to give our students a chance to call the games. The High School Cube was doing very bad broadcasts and they weren’t representing our school well, so we decided to bring everything in house,” Creed said.
As a result of moving operations “in house,” Br. Rice students can gauge career aspirations in broadcast journalism, while also providing Brother Rice’s extensive alumni base with a chance to follow their alma mater’s athletics from abroad.
Given that virtually no other local schools offer such a distinct privilege, Br. Rice graduates nationwide are exploiting the ability to support their beloved Crusaders outside of the 99th Street campus. Last year, BRTV eclipsed 171,000 total viewers with over 1.2 million minutes watched, and already have over 57,000 viewers with roughly 393,000 watched minutes thus far this season.
BRTV has evidently soared to record heights.
For Creed, moderating Br. Rice TV is a responsibility he truly relishes, as the position encompasses his collegiate degree and allows him to observe firsthand members’ journalistic growth and maturation.
“Moderating BRTV is an absolute thrill for me because it allows me to still be connected to my broadcasting degree. I love teaching and helping students, and fostering a love for a future career or hobby in broadcasting,” Creed said.
Over time and with experience, BRTV members retain worthwhile knowledge that puts them ahead of the game regarding a potential journalistic career or collegiate major. By continuously polishing their skills, some members even develop a resounding sense of self-confidence that enables them to explore other aspects of broadcasting. Junior Kevin O’Connell epitomizes this description to the core. In consequence, O’Connell finds himself as one of the more versatile members of the club, adept at both producing and commentating.
“When I joined BRTV, I only wanted to work behind the scenes, but now I am calling games and working on Gameday. It opened up a new opportunity for me and gives members a chance to learn all aspects of broadcasting,” said O’Connell.
Speaking for all BRTV members of both the past and present, junior Conor Durkin conveyed precisely what makes BRTV so special.
“BRTV has helped me open doors that I would never have thought to have been possible.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
BRTV’s future has never been brighter, and its status as the Southside’s premier broadcasting hub will undoubtedly remain intact for many years to come.
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