On March 3rd, Alcorn State University’s (ASU) Mass Communications Department hosted ‘MAB Day’ with the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters (MAB) via Zoom. This event was dedicated to Mass Communications students who are actively trying to pursue a career in Broadcast Media and Public Relations. Students and 2020 graduates who were interested in interviewing with the MAB were asked to send in their work samples and resumes before the event convened.
This virtual event started with one of ASU’s Mass Communications Instructors, Toni Terrett, introducing the Mississippi Association of Broadcaster’s participants and the hostess of the event, Amanda Fontaine. A Delta State graduate, Fontaine is currently the Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters. The first guest speaker was Dennis Warren, who has worked in both radio and sales. Warren explained the revitalization of radio and digital radio which embrace streaming and allows pre-rolls on streaming apps in order to be up-to-date with today’s listeners. Radio is still vital today even with technology improving significantly. He noted how the MAB needs tech-savvy people who are engineers or people who like to work behind-the-scenes. Though not everyone is comfortable being on-air, these other elements and aspects are vital for the company. Warren also explained how the MAB is always looking for individuals who have a hunger for Broadcasting and Sales. He stated, “If you have a dream of being in broadcasting, whether it’s working behind the scenes, or being on-air, no matter what, make sure you follow your dreams. Even if you have to work at a lower level you must be open to coaching and be trainable. Things don’t come overnight, so you must be patient.”
The next guest speaker introduced by Fontaine was Derek Rodgers. Rodgers is the General Manager of WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi. Rodgers is responsible for the award-winning on-air look of the news, including the creation of the first 5:00 pm newscast in North Mississippi. Rodgers took his time to explain how students should get their foot in the door then look at how the company operates which will allow them to advance their career. He stated, “Once you get to the starting point, be very aggressive and don’t wait around for someone to tell you to do something. If you have a passion in news make sure to jump and go with a reporter and if they ask if you can do something relevant make sure to say yes, because the word yes is a key word in this field.” Rodgers also reflected on how important internships are. They can help you with the direction you want to go and which direction you don’t. With an internship at a station it allows you the opportunity to see what different roles you can apply for.
Introduced next was Galean Stewart. Stewart is a graduate of Belhaven University and has 20 years of Journalism experience. Stewart explained how demo reels are important for any aspect of the media. With demo reels, an employer is looking for delivery, showing that you’re clear, concise, and conversational. The reels should show excitement and you not being robotic. She also mentioned how limited we are during the Coronavirus pandemic, and that you may not have access to your campus cameras, but your cellular phone has all of the tools you need in regards to shooting videos, editing and interviewing. Also, she explained before uploading your demo reel you must also be open to feedback and get another set of eyes on it. Producers remember sloppy work, so it’s best to give 110% with anything you do. Mispronunciation of names are signs of laziness and sloppiness as if you didn’t do your research. “Work on anything that you’re struggling with now so you don’t have any problems coming into your first job,” stated Stewart.
Following Stewart was Liz Zamora, who is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is a News Director at WTVA in Tupelo, Mississippi. Her central points consisted of telling students to be open to constructive criticism and being properly coached. Following her was Pat Peterson, who is an Emmy nominated/award winning journalist with multiple Associated Press awards. He has over 25 years of experience in Broadcast News. He pin-pointed to viewers how important time management is. Peterson also mentioned that there is no room for drama and divas within the newsroom. “Having a big ego and daily attitudes will get you into serious trouble,” stated Peterson.
For more information concerning the MAB contact Mrs. Terrett at (601) 877-6557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.