Michael Carbone, left, and Andre Cobham are the creators of the new campus hit, "The Raphy Report.""Raphy" or Raphael, below, who hosts the show, is a trusted friend and theatre major.
By Marisa Santillo, ’11
Andre Cobham and Michael Carbone saw an opportunity. The two juniors wanted to create a new way to keep Fredonians informed with up-to-date topics that really mattered to students.
With the desire and drive to turn their idea into a reality, they created something new – “The Raphy Report” – and its popularity surged across campus like a wildfire.
The Raphy Report is not the typical, 30-minute primetime TV newscast, but rather a show specially catered to students, from its content to its accessibility.
It is a professional, high-quality video news series which covers a variety of topics that can be easily accessed and viewed online – anywhere, anytime. It has created a new student media niche and almost instantly become a campus-wide sensation.
“College students are busy. We don’t have time to sit down to enjoy our favorite TV shows,” said Carbone, a double TV/digital film and audio/radio production major. “We thought if we could create segments that were short and talked about different topics that interested students, they would be more inclined to watch.”
The two friends refused to cut corners. They agreed they would work endlessly to design, edit and film nothing short of a top quality, professional product. They captured footage for every episode in one night, and then spent the entire weekend editing it. As the show continued, so did its popularity among students. The Raphy Report started out with around 10 student volunteers, but between February and April, as the buzz about it spread, it grew to 42, and its content exploded.
Topics include local, national and international news, entertainment reviews of music, movies, video games, Internet videos and fashion, and other special interests such as sports, health and fitness, downtown nightlife, celebrity gossip, science and the environment.
They are continually growing based on the interests of Fredonia’s students.
When looking for someone to be the face of their creation, Cobham quickly thought
of his high school friend, Raphael Santos, a sophomore B.F.A. musical theater major.
“Since Raphy and I worked together in the past, he was the only one I really trusted to front the project,” said Cobham, a TV/digital film major.
“We did a lot of market research to find out what students were interested in,” Cobham added. “We showed people the ideas we came up with, and they told us what they liked,
what they didn’t, and what they wanted.”
“The cool part about our news is that it’s what you want to hear, when you want to hear it,” added Santos. “Students can go to YouTube and watch whenever they have time.”
Many Raphy Reporters have landed jobs or internships by showing their work on the show as part of their portfolios, due to its highly professional production quality.
The buzz they have created has become so “loud,” the guys are now reaching for new outlets to promote the show.
Throughout the summer they hope to create a Raphy Report mobile application, so that students can upload it to mobile devices and stream segments instantly.
With all of these aspirations, Carbone and Cobham hope to continue to grow and leave a legacy for Fredonia’s underclassmen after they graduate.
“We have a huge crew, and none of it is dead weight,” says Carbone. “Every member knows what they want to do, and they are good at it. I think it will be a very successful, self-sustaining group, even when we are gone.”
“Get ready for the fall semester” Cobham added. “We have some big plans for the future.”
Considering what they’ve accomplished to date, it’s sure to be worth “tuning in.”