PCAs – Station of The Year

Demon TV

Demon TV has had an incredible 12 months in which we have achieved many of our goals and made a real difference for our members and our community.

We have produced a wide range of content in the last year that we made sure would cover as many different topics as possible. Our news strand has produced regular news roundups that cover world, local, entertainment and sports news in order to keep our student viewers informed. This has also spanned to breaking news updates when serious incidents have occurred in our local area. Our music strand has worked closely with local bands and societies to create the original show ‘Demon Sessions’ to give artists a chance to share their new singles and share it with our audiences, we have also had the privilege of filming the Rage Against Cancer, a local charity gig with ties to the DMU Music Society. In Entertainment we have worked hard to create a variety of different shows such as our magazine show Subject Not Found, that pushed our members to produce their own short VT’s, a skill they can take on into demon and beyond. Our drama Benches has become famous on campus, so much so that the Music society have recreated the first episode during a social. Student Squash was a really exciting challenge as two student stations, Demon and Trent TV, produced a panel show together which, even though we didn’t win, was an amazing day and a really fun video. Our sports team have done some amazing Varsity coverage and worked very closely with our sports teams to produce amazing sports coverage.

We love a good livestream and this year we have produced some really amazing livestreams. Gods of RAG was a 24 hour livestream in which we locked our members in our students union and managed to raise over £1200. Children in Need was a live streamed concert during which we raised almost £300.

This year has not been without its hardships, after a previous governance change left us with many issues we have spent the year restarting Demon governance and ensuring the future of our station, however this new change has bought us closer with many of the societies and thus given us the chance to work with them in order to create much more content. Working with the ACS and the SU we were privileged to film the Black History Month events put on around campus. We were able to invite lots of societies to perform at our Children in Need event and we have worked with them to film their society or involve them in our content.

We now post our content on Facebook and YouTube which has double our view count and interactions and has meant our members’ hard work has been really well received.

Overall DemonTV has achieved an awful lot and we are very proud of our members and our station.

Forge TV

Over the past year, Forge TV has produced high quality content on an increasingly regular basis. We’ve continued with our most popular series, Forge vs The World and bought back forgotten series, Bursting the Bubble, as well as getting members more involved and more active. As well as this, Forge TV’s committee have worked very hard to grow Forge TV into a better student TV station and our efforts have paid off meaning Forge TV has had one of its most successful years to date.

We started this year off by focusing on our content, both its quality and its regularity. Our music team have worked hard to produce many episodes of On The Beat meaning our channel has uploaded a high number of quality music interviews throughout the year. Our entertainment team has continued to grow Forge vs The World into our most popular series which has garnered the attention of several different societies across the University of Sheffield – this attention means we have a wide variety of societies wanting to be filmed as part of the series. In February our News Team improved our coverage of SU Officer Elections, trialling out a new venue for the Debates as well as putting out several informative social media videos during voting. Varsity was bigger than ever this year with our Sports team pulling out all the stops, from creating a punditry set in Hillsborough to livestreaming from new venues our coverage was more expansive than in previous years. Forge TV’s output has hugely improved this year and we’ve been growing so much as the year has gone on.

Behind the scenes we’ve been just as active with our Tech Cupboard undergoing a renovation to make it more streamlined and organised. This has been a long time coming in order to properly protect and care for our equipment and the dedication of committee members has allowed for these vital changes to be made. Alongside this renovation, a full inventory of all our equipment has been compiled and a new booking system is being implemented to further ensure that our tech can last for many future generations of Forge TV. We’ve made real changes and vast improvements to our storage and treatment of equipment and this will ensure that Forge TV can continue to produce high quality content beyond just this committees efforts.

This year we’ve had a highly dedicated committee who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that Forge TV continues to improve and grow. Every member of the committee has played an active role both in producing content and bettering Forge TV off camera and their efforts have gone a long way to improve Forge TV. Finally, our work has been massively improved by the rising number of members who have readily helped throughout the year and have contributed some amazing ideas.

This year we’ve had a highly dedicated committee who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that Forge TV continues to improve and grow. Every member of the committee has played an active role both in producing content and bettering Forge TV off camera and their efforts have gone a long way to improve Forge TV. Finally, our work has been massively improved by the rising number of members who have readily helped throughout the year and have contributed some amazing ideas.

GUST

Glasgow University Student Television is the oldest student-run TV station in the world. 2019 marks our 55th birthday – one more year of producing great content with great people. 

Freshers’ Week is an incredibly important event for GUST – as the busiest time of the year, it gives our established members a chance to film independently and express their creativity, and is the first time that many new members become acquainted with us. This year, we broadcasted over 106 minutes of content across five days, making 2018 our biggest Freshers’ Week ever. We also introduced a Freshers’ Bootcamp to train our members ahead of the busy week of filming. Alongside camera and sound training, we offered workshops on making a good Freshers’ VT and invited our members to participate in a scavenger hunt and our inaugural sports day. This was a great opportunity to reconnect after summer, and get excited for the week ahead.

Beyond Freshers’ Week, GUST produced a steady flow of quality content, from long-running series like Experimental Shorts and Miscellanea, to original content like Real Housewives of GUST and Smashed Screenplay. This year we introduced a Comedy/Drama producership, encouraging the production of scripted shorts in a variety of genres. Emboldened by our redeveloped training schedule, After Effects and other advanced editing techniques have been heavily incorporated into programmes.

As proud as we are of our content, we’re nothing without our members. Social events are integral to GUST; this year, we continued annual traditions like the Christmas Dinner, as well as trips to the pub after our weekly studio sessions. However, we also placed greater emphasis on non-drinking socials, such as laser-tag and karaoke, in order to make GUST as inclusive as possible. A new event this year was Who Killed the Controller?, an interactive murder-mystery played through social media – a great success which has inspired us to try more experimental events in the future. 

For the first time in years, GUST received a payment from the university so that we could upgrade some of our equipment. This is a big milestone as it is the first significant purchase we have made and can thus technically match our fellow student television stations. Although this is not a long term fix as this was a one time payment, it is still a step in the right direction. Our Fundraising Convenor will continue to raise money throughout the year for station development. 

Anniversaries are a time for reflection – GUST has produced incredible content for 55 years, but we know we can always do more. We want to ensure our members always have the tools to bring their visions to life. In the future, we would like to rebuild our website and further revamp our equipment, but above all, it’s important to us that membership remains free so that GUST can always be a home for creativity at the university. 

With all this in mind, we feel that our slogan for this year is particularly appropriate:

Whatever you’re into, get into GUST. 

LSTV

Our year at Leeds Student Television has been one marked by a particular word: progress. This advance has been driven by a more diverse membership than ever before. From being a very homogenous society just a few years ago, we have made active steps toward the inclusion and promotion of range of voices. 

We attracted students from a range of courses; from computing to history, and placed emphasis on the retention of international members. Previously, media societies at Leeds have been hard to access by non-media students, and this improvement is representative of our drive to make student TV available to all. With the faces of the society becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race, gender, sexuality and more, LSTV now represents a bigger range of backgrounds than ever before.

On campus, we’ve used our profile for good. We raised money for Children in Need for a special live show, we worked with a range of other societies and promoted organisations we believe in, including Nightline, Freedom4girls and Revive. Recognising this, the union is now entering into a collaboration with us to make weekly videos to be displayed around the building showcasing a range of societies.

On a wider scale, this year we’ve held some of the UK’s biggest politicians to account on issues students care about. We challenged figures such as Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage and Hilary Benn on Brexit and anti-Semitism; we shone a light on the Free the Nipple Campaign and LGBTQ+ issues at Pride. A piece we are particularly proud of is the story of Hossein Ahmadi, a story that went on to be picked up by national news outlets. A student in Leeds, Hossein was facing the prospect of deportation and consequential execution in Iran. We were honoured to have been trusted by Hossein to share in his journey with him.

This year has been great for the LSTV Platform. We created a brand new website, continued to release content every week day on our Facebook page, and expanded to release more content on YouTube. This led to a 50% increase in engagement and a massive 1.5 million cross-platform impressions.

Student events have remained important to us, covering everything from the union’s Riley Awards to Robot Fighting League’s tournaments. For our own production, ‘Loud and Clear,’ we put on a free music event for the students of Leeds, showcasing local artists including ‘Tasha,’ ‘Ben Brown,’ aptly named, ‘The Gallery,’ and more. 

Overall we’re hugely proud of what we have achieved this year. Aspects such as improved diversity and reaching new audiences are difficult to show in a Best Broadcaster edit but are so central to our progression as a society. We hope to carry on providing our members with a welcoming and exciting space to create the amazing content we know they can. 

YSTV

YSTV strives to create varied and exciting content, providing entertainment and building bridges between students and with the wider community. From game shows to short thrillers and boxing matches to seaside trips, we have done every production that our members can think of! Since the start of the year we have worked on maintaining high production standards and have pushed ourselves to the limit to see what our members can achieve.

To expand our production genres and add consistency to our branding we created ‘YSTV Sport’, filming regular sporting events across campus.This brought new possibilities for the quality of our sporting productions, allowing us to showcase the amazing sports societies at the University. This also created more interest in YSTV, and provided us with an opportunity to train new members for our biggest event of the year – Roses. We have since used sports live streams as an activity for ‘Give It A GO’ sessions, giving students a taste of what we do.

Pushing ourselves to do more scripted content we have filmed multiple short films, giving students opportunities to write, produce and direct fictional content. We have been expanding outside of our campus, and looking towards bringing exposure to events in our community, such as YSTV Reports: York’s Race For Life and York’s Strike for Climate Change – highlighting our city.

However, to support our increasing number of productions we found ourselves running short of money. So, working with a number of clients both inside and outside the University we began working on commercial content to raise money for equipment improvements. From a multi-day conference stream, recording numerous theatre productions and even making adverts for the University we have managed to raise enough money to treat ourselves to a new jib, new tripods and even a new gopro! We have needed to improve our servers to support our growing file sizes and number of productions and so we also applied for a grant through the University, allowing us to build a new 30TB server and improve our current systems. This aims to future proof the society for future committees, so that future members can benefit from the same opportunities. However it is not just about money, it is also about giving our members the experience of working with professional clients.

Alongside our increasing number of productions we have also prioritised accessibility and the wellbeing of our members. Organising regular trips and socials, chill-out zones on large productions and creating new wellbeing sessions where our members have a safe space to talk. We try to create an environment in which we have time to relax during our hectic schedules and encourage self-care. In addition, we published our first fully subtitled content and are working to make our website and productions more accessible for every viewer.

Overall, this year has seen YSTV expand its membership, strengthen ties with the community, and allow students the opportunity to create high quality content whilst developing skills that will aid them in their future career.