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USyd Update, Honi for the Lazy

Adam Chalmers on the latest kid on the student media block.

Adam Chalmers on the latest kid on the student media block.

Sydney University has a proud tradition of student media. Honi Soit has been printing news since 1929. SURG has filled the air with music since the 60s. Bull (R.I.P) has been a uniquely glossy form of toilet paper since the mid-2000s. But last month, USyd finally entered the twentieth century and welcomed in student video with USyd  Update.

USYD Update is the brainchild of Remy Numa and Cooper Darling-Blair. “Late last year we thought, ‘there really should be a video group on campus,’” Remy tells me. “Now’s the right time for video. It seems to be where the media landscape is going… and what better way to see how great a USyd museum or concert is than to actually see it?”

Every week, reporters pitch stories to their peers. One story is chosen from USyd Update’s three categories—news, life and culture—and developed over two weeks. “We usually write, research and present our own stories,” explained reporter Siobhan Ryan. Reporters are filmed by the production team, who collaborate with a post-production team to churn out fairly high-quality material. USyd Update puts out three stories each week, limited mostly by limited numbers of film equipment and the relatively small size of the production and post-production teams. “There’s some competition for stories, but it hasn’t been too bad so far,” reporter Steph Ryan explained.

The group is an entirely volunteer effort which neither makes nor spends money. YouTube provides free video hosting, and film equipment is borrowed from USyd‘s media department. “We’re exploring options for funding, and hopefully next year we’ll have a more sustainable model,” founder Remy Numa says.

Personally, I’m enjoying USyd Update’s videos. Sometimes reporters seem uncomfortable talking to the camera or stumble over their words. Video quality is occasionally choppy, and sometimes poor sound mixing means I can only hear the wind rushing through the Quad. But they’ve got a lot of very interesting material, and celebrity guests like comedian Tom Ballard. I’ve been writing for Honi Soit for five years now, and I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the newest media force on campus. Welcome to the family, UU. Long may we reign.