O n September 18, CBC Radio One released their first internet podcast, and it’s on something we can all relate to: university life. CBC Radio One’s CAMPUS, hosted by Albert Leung, is a podcast series on the stories of Canadian university students.
“Campus is that place and time in our lives where everything changes,” said Albert Leung. “We’re not entirely concerned with grades, or epic parties, but we’re more fascinated with who you will become during this sliver of time.”
“At an early age, there is so much students have to deal with, the threat of failure, the pressure to succeed. Interestingly, in most high schools, you raise your hand if you need to use the washroom, and mere weeks later, you’re asking these same students to make really big decisions about their future,” said Leung. “University is really the ultimate crash course in life. We felt campuses are a breeding ground for memories to be made, moments to be had, and ultimately great stories to be told.”
This is a huge stage in CBC Radio history. Podcasting has been growing in popularity lately and CBC is taking advantage of that popularity, realizing it has plenty of potential for making their content relevent.
“Podcasting is all the rage right now, and I think radio and audio are going through a sort of second golden age,” said Leung. “Existing entirely on the web really gives us a massive playground… For us to be in the palm of your hand, gives us the opportunity to do some really fun things… Social media is king these days and we’ll be able to share extra content that we wouldn’t normally have time for on traditional radio.”
The credit for CBC Radio One’s move into podcasting is due to Andrew Leung himself. As well as the idea for CAMPUS as its flagship podcast.
“CAMPUS was my idea,” said Leung. “This podcast is a bit of a personal journey for me. I had always heard about how awesome university was, but I feel like I may have missed out a bit. I was born and raised in a big city, went to school in a big city, and lived at home during university… CAMPUS is my quest to find and tell great coming of age stories.”
For the first podcast, CAMPUS focused on Freshman university student, Jessica Watkin, whose story is sobering. Before the start of her first year of university, which many students would agree is one of the hardest times in their lives, she lost her sight to an eye condition called “familial exudative vitreoretinopathy”.
“Jessica Watkin is truly inspiring,” said Leung. “She is a young lady who was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative, eye condition. She went blind just a few weeks before her very first day of university. Not only did she have to learn how to cope with the stress of a new environment like university, learn how to be independent and make new friends, she also had to learn how to be a new “human” so to speak with the loss of her vision. In our debut episode, you will hear just how courageous she is.”
Watkin’s amazing story is one of the many incredible and inspiring stories to be heard when CAMPUS releases its biweekly podcast.
Of course, if you can’t wait between podcasts there will also be tons of behind the scenes audio and visual material to enjoy through their various social media accounts.
Due to the nature of the podcast, there is no set plan for what they will be covering next. This gives them the opportunity to hear from all the great stories across the nation in time. There is no deadline on when they need to hear stories from each school they visit.
“We don’t plan on going to specific universities,” said Leung. “If we hear of a great story, we will find a way to get there, wherever it is, and speak to the character in person. So, if you think you’ve got a story to share, or know someone who may, please get in touch.”
If you have a great story to tell about your campus experience, you can contact CAMPUS at firstname.lastname@example.org. To check out the podcast go to cbc.ca/radio/campus