Students of the department of the African Methodist Episcopal University launched its first YouTube channel and live Facebook page late April to enable communication students project their ideas and have other students well informed about on campus happenings (social, academic, entertainment) etc.
The launching ceremony was graced by administrators and the student body of the AMEU. Commending the students, Dr. Dawn Cooper Barnes, dean for academic affairs, applauded the department for the great work so far. The communication was later shared with the president of the university, Dr. Joseph Isaac, who didn’t attend but wholeheartedly welcomed and supported the idea.
Mr. Wesley Ernest Brown, the visionary of this initiative, is a senior student reading Mass Communication major with emphasis in broadcast at the AME University. He is a former employee of Prime TV and has few years of working experience in television management and production.
“I saw the need for the Mass Communication Students Association (MACOMSA) to have a YouTube channel and a live Facebook page where our students can practicalize their skills and project their ideas they’ll be learning theoretically,” Brown said.
The team brainstormed and came up with a proposal, which they later shared with the chairman of the department, Mr. Samuel Y. Valentine, who embraced it without hesitation.
“The MACOMSA television came about from an elaborate project that the Mass Communication department intended undertaking but, while brainstorming, we thought it wise to have a television that will prepare out-going communication students for the job market. They will already have the experience in handling camera, video production, presentations, live programs among others”, Brown stressed.
Brown strongly expressed that the department will no longer have to face a high cost for obtaining broadcast frequency, but rather make use of social media, especially Facebook which holds lots of audience, where they can produce their own content and have it online for viewing.
“Our first production was from the Mass Communication 330, Telecast and Production class where the students produced their first documentary. This brought in the picture to make the dream more vivid. We later produced another edition, where we had AMEU students interviewed about the views and opinion about the University Campus. It was later packaged and uploaded to our MACOMSA television online.” MACOMSA’s first YouTube video currently has 24 views.
“As it is now, we don’t have sponsors,” Brown adds. “We are taking up the initiatives ourselves because we want to project our ideas steadfastly.”
Though the school administration has yet to provide any tangible support to the initiative, the department has decided to undertake other projects and activities with their personal resources to maintain the channel and live broadcast.
The association, in its own strength and effort has raised the amount of US$225 and L$14,000 among students within the Comm. Department.
Social media platforms provides many opportunities to young people to help improve their career from wherever they are by using smartphones with high resolution cameras to produce live audio and video content for global audiences. One of the opportunities is Facebook Live, which was widely launched to iPhones and Android users in April 2016.
“It’s a new idea, but in another form, it’s an old idea. I don’t know about other universities, but I believe AMEU is the first to initiate this project”, he told the Observer.
Wesley, who serves as acting president of MACOMSA, called on audience to watch the video content on YouTube and all other universities and students who are reading mass Communication not to limit themselves. “Do not see the digital board as the only place to showcase your profession but social media.