When Abbie McIntosh was in 8th grade, her mother demanded that she finish her homework before watching her favorite football team play.
“I was a huge Texas fan,” said the Houston native. “I had to finish my homework before I could watch Texas. And that night at dinner, my mom was like, with how much you love sports, I think you should look into being a sports broadcaster.
“I thought about it, did some more research, and I really liked it. I did print (journalism) in high school, because we didn’t really have anything broadcast, but I wanted to do broadcast.”
Today, the University of Mississippi sophomore is preparing for a future in broadcast journalism. She attended Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media Tuesday in the Farley Hall on the University of Mississippi campus to have her resume critiqued and seek career advice from industry professionals.
McIntosh said she has learned a lot about broadcast journalism at the Meek School.
“I’ve just learned different techniques,” she said, “like how to do the proper standup.”
McIntosh said she’s also learned how to create a broadcast package, how to shoot B-roll, proper interview techniques, and how to use cameras and equipment.
“I’ve learned so much in my two very short years here,” she said. “I just wanted to get feedback on my work to improve myself.”
UM senior Lynecia Christion, 22, is also studying journalism.
“I’m basically just trying to get some advice and criticism,” she said Tuesday. “I brought my resume so I could tweak it a little bit. I didn’t realize how fast the year was going to go by, and now it’s really kicking in, and you go to places like this and realize graduation is about to be here.”
Christion said she’s trying to get her name and brand out to future employers.
“Right now, I’m not so big on being in front of the camera,” she said. “I like the background scene in producing, editing and directing. I am willing to report if I need to just to get to a background spot.”
Nancy McKenzie Dupont, Ph.D., organized Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day.
“It’s everything I hoped it would be,” she said, referring to the event. “I’m always nervous before this event every year because there are so many moving parts, and everything has to come together, but the broadcasters of the state have supported our students, and many students get internships and actual jobs every year.”
A journalism or integrated marketing communications degree can lead to a job in public relations, marketing, sports promotion, creative services and many other categories.
Dupont said the event teaches students how to succeed in broadcast journalism and marketing jobs at broadcasting stations. It involved portfolio critiques in the morning, a meeting with faculty, and small group discussions in the afternoon. The public was not invited. It was only for students and faculty only. Dupont said said 15-20 broadcasters attended.
“Broadcasters want to come to the Meek School because they believe it’s the best program in the state,” she said. “They want to help students during their time here. It would be a mistake for students to miss this opportunity to get a professional critique of their work and advice on how to land the job they want.”
Dupont said many students start out with the goal of becoming newspaper and broadcast reporters, but because many jobs have changed, there are many more career options for students. Her advice: Develop as many skills as you can—writing, video shooting, editing, social media, etc.—and intern at more than one place to gain experience.
For more information about the event or the University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media’s broadcast journalism program and and classes, contact Dupont at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Story by LaReeca Rucker, adjunct journalism instructor