The Mississippi Association of Broadcasters (MAB) facilitated a MAB Day 2019 in the Industrial Technology Building at Alcorn State University on March 21st in Room 214. This event was designed to provide guidance to the students of the Mass Communications Department who are interested in pursuing careers in Journalism and Broadcasting (Radio/Television).
The event began as a roundtable discussion where panelists introduced themselves then began to answer student’s questions. Panelists included media experts, Mark Little, News Director of WLBT Channel 3 in Jackson, Mississippi, Derek Rodgers, General Manager of WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi, Ben Lockridge, Twin States News Manager, Galean Stewart, News Director of WDAM Channel 7 in Moselle, Mississippi and Margaret C. Perkins, President and CEO of First Natchez Radio. The panelists introduced themselves to the audience and gave a brief description of their occupations. Afterwards, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions relating to their specific area of Mass Communications.
Students delved into questions pertaining to the different jobs in a Television/Radio station, time management, and graduate school. Of all of the topics addressed by the panel, one seemed to draw the most consensus which was experience. The panelists encouraged students to get out and get internships as jobs are continuously merging and it pays to be well-rounded.
Stewart recounted that she began her career as an intern at a television station and built her way up to News Director. She stated, “I would practice by taking a magazine and standing before a mirror to learn how to properly annunciate words. When I graduated from Belhaven, I did an internship at WJTV in Jackson and that internship lead to a job opportunity as an Associate Producer. That job opportunity lead to a Producer job at WLBT.” Stewart encouraged students to take advantage of internships in order to get practical work experience.
Rodgers informed the audience that he began his Mass Communications career as an intern at WCBI in Columbus, Mississippi, a TV station which he now manages. He urged students to get their foot in the door and learn all that they can. He stated, “Start small (referring to small markets) where you will get to mess up and you will learn more about different positions so that you can directly pinpoint your career.” He added that, “Bigger markets expect candidates to know everything so it would be best to get all of that knowledge first at the smaller markets.”
After the question and answer session, the panelists had the opportunity to watch and critique the Mass Communications student’s video packages. Following that, there were breakout sessions in which students could either have one-one-one discussions with the panelists or they could do group sessions.
Katrina Byther, a Senior Mass Communication major stated, “The guests were warm and welcoming, and they didn’t hesitate to answer all of our questions with blunt answers. I like how they were not afraid to share some of their personal experiences which gave us a better understanding of life as journalists.” Byther also noted that she learned about more positions in the Mass Communications field that were not necessarily in the news industry.
For more information about Alcorn’s Mass Communications program contact Larry Sanders, Instructor of Mass Communications, at (601) 877-6632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.