UAPB's First Annual Broadcast Education Association Day

By Tamesha Monk

I had the amazing opportunity to attend Broadcast Education Association Day that was hosted by The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for the Department of Multimedia Communication. The event took place Thursday, September 14th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. There were many great guest speakers in attendance to provide feedback such as; KARK 4 anchor and reporter, Gary Burton, THV-11 producer and UAPB alum, Ebony Kendrick, and KATV channel 7 anchor, Ryan Houston. The speakers gave advice and allowed students to ask them questions regarding their careers.

To kick off the day right at 9:30 a.m., I had the privilege of introducing Gary Burton. He spoke on his experience starting his career and the trials he faced along the way, informing students that it wasn’t easy, but it was all worth it in the end, he also shared that as he had to shoot his own video without receiving help. That information sparked questions from students because it seemed like it would be hard to set up a camera, write a script, and not mess it up all on camera. Burton shared with the students that once he got used to filming by himself, it became easier over time. I appreciate Burton for sharing his perspective as a new reporter because as a possible future reporter, I find it intimidating to speak in front of the camera with someone helping me film, and to do it alone seems scary, but not impossible.

Media professionals share their expertise with UAPB students for BEA Day.
Ebony Kendrick shares her expertise with UAPB students for BEA Day.
Media professionals share their expertise with UAPB students for BEA Day.
Photos provided by Tamesha Monk

The next speaker, Ebony Kendrick shared her perspective as a producer. As a former student of the university, she shared how her professor told her that the role of producer best suited her because of how much she likes to be in control. As a student myself, and being active in the TV Studio on campus, I can relate to Kendrick. Having a vision and wanting everything to turn out right are the best qualities of a producer.

Kendrick guided students through the hiring process and shared available internship opportunities through her company, Tegna, for next summer. This was not all that Kendrick shared with students, she also encouraged students who feel like it may be too hard for them, she expressed how it is about discipline and dedication. She revealed that continuing to work as a producer for THV11, working for Tegna, being a mother, and deciding to go back to school to pursue her master’s degree is not easy and that it is challenging, but the outcome will overpower the current struggles.

I had the chance to speak with Kendrick about her returning to her alma mater but this time speaking to students about career paths and opportunities. “I have been back home at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, I got to shed some light on the educational opportunities that I myself got to take advantage of and share opportunities available through my company and we would love to bring in more talent.”

Media professionals share their expertise with UAPB students for BEA Day.
Ryan Houston talks to students about his time at KATV.

As the day continued, there were more guest appearances speaking on graduate school programs and clubs that were available for students to join to gain more experience in the industry, such as the National Association of Black Journalists and more. To end the day of BEA, Ryan Houston spoke to students about understanding the seriousness and the fun that comes with being an anchor. He showed videos of himself having fun on set and while being on air, but he also showed the more serious moments as an anchor.

He illustrated how to know the difference between the two, and that it’s possible to have fun within the news industry but to know when it’s time to stop laughing and be serious. I had the chance to ask Houston how to know when a story is worth seeking, to which he expressed that if the story is local and of importance the people need to know. That advice resonated with me because I feel that there’s a lot of bad news that appears on the news. If I were to pursue a career in news, I would like to shed light on the good that’s happening within the community.

Overall, I believe BEA Day was a complete success. I enjoyed all of the speakers and allowed us as students to ask questions about the industry. I feel like most students walked away believing they had a good chance to make it in the news world. I look forward to the outcome of the advice that was given to myself and other students.