Standing face-to-face with the news anchor in a television screen, a middle school girl mimics the words broadcasted every night during the 9:00 p.m. news program. This is how SBS ESPN announcer Jang Eurye (’02, Composition) spent her teenage years, dreaming to be on television one day.
Though Jang had continuous interest in broadcasting and participated in a broadcasting club during her school days, becoming an announcer was not Jang’s ultimate passion in mind from the beginning.
Music was another subject that attracted Jang, constantly asking herself a question, “would it be music or broadcasting?” before her admission to Ewha.
“I slept through many troubled nights, weighing the two possible paths I had in front of me,” Jang said.
Jang believed that majoring in media or liberal arts was not a must-do factor in becoming an announcer, which made Jang decide on composition as her major. Still, she clung on by double majoring in journalism and media studies.
After graduating from Ewha, Jang started preparing herself for the announcer exams, a mandatory process that all announcer aspirants must undergo.
During her study for the broadcasting announcer position, she realized that sports news was her weak point. That was when she started digging into the subject by watching late night sports games.
“Before, I merely enjoyed watching major international games, but once I realized sports was my weakest subject, I studied harder. My daily life cycle was based on watching sports. I watched the European soccer league games at midnight, and I even stayed alert for the postseason baseball games for the first time in my life. That is how I started falling for sports. That was when it came to my mind that my weakest point could possibly become, in fact, an advantage for a female aspiring announcer at the end,” Jang said.
Jang’s position as a sports announcer at SBS ESPN was obtained with toil, but soon, she was being called a “sports mania.”
She claims a sports announcer should love sports truly, as the job requires continuous studying of numerous sporting events.
“I was a real fan of baseball, so I was thrilled to step into the ground,” Jang said. “But as baseball is a widely loved sport, though I had originally enjoyed it, it came to me as another type of stress with people assessing and criticizing my work. In the end, I had fun and finished my job with fervor.”
Starting this July, Jang was appointed as the first female billiards caster.
Since billiards is enjoyed mostly by males, Jang faced difficulty relating to the athletes while broadcasting.
“I had never played billiards before this job. On the contrary, it is hard to identify guys who have no experience playing the sport; they would have played at least one single game. As I had never tried nor felt the thrill in playing billiards, it was hard to provide broadcasting that audiences could click with. Thankfully, women can also easily access billiards and actually have fun playing, so I am trying to enjoy in my spare time,” Jang said.
Her colleagues and others were both excited and worried about Jang’s new career as a billiards caster.
Though Jang’s broadcasting of billiards could be seen as a new and fresh attempt, her casting could also be compared to the previous male caster’s, who was a billiard aficionado.
After the very first broadcasting of Jang, many people showed their support through encouraging messages.
“After my first billiard casting was aired, I received responses such as ‘Your voice suits the job’ and ‘It was original,’” Jang said.
However, she noticed that all compliments were not about the content of her braodcasting itself, but just a general comment about the attitude and gesture she performed.
“I am pretty sure that billiard fans watching the broadcasts are probably not fully satisfied with my casting. I will have to work harder to be able to hear compliments about my technical skills rather than appraisals about how my voice suits the mood of the sport,” Jang said.
After a long day of work, seeing the red light of the camera fading off is the time when Jang feels a great sense of relief.
Sports programs are much demanding since one broadcast, reporting, or an interview equals to hours of research and studying beforehand.
“As a beginner, preparing for a single broadcast still makes me feel anxious and adds weight over my shoulders. But once I begin the program with the turn of the red recording light and finish with the fading, the greater pleasure of that moment that surrounds me makes it seem all worthwhile,” Jang said.
Currently, Jang’s goal is to focus on her two major sporting programs, bowling and billiard, and perform well as a professional broadcaster.
“As there are fixed images like ‘Caster Im Yong-soo on baseball’ and ‘Caster Cho Min-ho on soccer,’ I look forward to the day when people will be able to say ‘Jang Eurye when it comes to bowling and billiard.’”