CBC has decided to delve further into the world of podcasting, and has chosen post-secondary students to be the captivating subjects into their latest foray.
Campus, an online-exclusive from the CBC, has launched onto airwaves during this fall semester and is starting to make waves for its intimate and immersive stories of extraordinary students.
Albert Leung, host and creator of Campus, said that the network wanted to get in on the podcasting craze and the coming-of-age atmosphere of university was an appealing place to start.
“University is really that ultimate crash course in life,” said Leung. “At an early age, there’s so much that young adults have to deal with. The threat of failure, the pressure to succeed, and I always say this to people, that university is this trial by fire.
“We felt campuses were a breeding ground for memories to be made, moments to be had, but ultimately great, great stories to be told.”
The series is currently three episodes deep, with each episode ranging between 15 and 20 minutes. To start things off, Leung and his crew have featured a young woman who went blind weeks before attending university, a student who became homeless while completing his masters degree, and a student who came out as trans during their time at school.
Before Leung was the voice of Campus, he covered the Olympics, the Ottawa shooting, and other national news events in Canada for the past eight years. The switch from doing all that to diving into these immensely personal stories requires a bit more of a delicate touch.
The payoff for this diligence, though, is the ability to shed new light on the same, often political stories that CBC is more used to reporting on.
“Sometimes, you lose the humanity [doing hard news]. I think breaking news tends to be obsessed with getting the facts out there, and sometimes not how people feel about everything,” Leung said.
“For people who consume news normally, for them to be able to hear just how much of a struggle it is, for example, for a transgender student to go about their daily life or to be more specific to make the decision to take hormone replacement therapy and change their everyday voice, I think hearing those types of stories gives a lot of context to major issues that students and Canadians in general are facing.”
Campus is currently slated for 15 episodes, but as with any pioneer project, there isn’t really any true sense to predict what the show — or CBC’s relationship with podcasting — could become.
Leung went on to say that while response to the show has been limited so afar, it has been garnering a steady positive reception.
If you believe that you know of, or personally have, a story that goes above and beyond that of a typical student, you could be part of this podcast by submitting your tale to firstname.lastname@example.org.