Dr. Tony DeMars, Mass Media & Journalism Professor at A&M-Commerce, received a NATPE Faculty Development Grant for summer 2018. The Faculty Development Grant Program gives media educators the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in a professional media environment. It also nurtures relationships between educators and the industry.
Although Dr. DeMars has previous professional experience in radio broadcasting and TV news, the Development Grant allowed him to invest additional time working at several TV stations. This summer, he “interned” at KBTX in Bryan/College Station, KTAL in Texarkana/Shreveport and KHOU in Houston.
“Technology is changing the industry,” Dr. DeMars said, “and I got a chance to see how local market television news has evolved. The Shreveport station still had a full crew running their live TV newscasts, but KBTX had just two people running all the technical production, using a modern automation system.”
Dr. DeMars’ hands-on TV station experience has affected his teaching curriculum. His classes address the cutting-edge technology that is changing the media industry, like backpack units that replace live news trucks. His curriculum also addresses the industry’s increased emphasis on marketing. “We now have to teach students working in advertising sales how to be marketing experts for their clients…making sure to use all the available multimedia platforms to assure clients reach their target market,” Dr. DeMars said.
The Development Grant is sponsored by the National Association of Television Programming Executives, a global media content association that hosts the annual NATPE Market & Conference. Dr. DeMars received complimentary registration to the conference set for January 2019 in Miami.