UCM, like many universities, is full of opportunities for students willing to seek them out. Students are able to get hands-on experience in almost any discipline, anywhere on campus. For broadcasting, that place is KMOS-TV, located underneath the Martin and Wood buildings.
Operating on-campus since 1979, PBS branch-affiliate KMOS broadcasts education and entertainment programs across the central Missouri area 24/7.
I had the pleasure of speaking with KMOS producer Eric Boedecker and student-producer Blake Proctor. Both explained the day-to-day duties that can be found at KMOS:
“The station is a full-service station,” Boedecker explained. “Airing national PBS programs to the whole of central Missouri, but we’re also airing local programming. There are programs the staff are in charge of, and there’s a student program called “Lowdown”, a bi-weekly program for University news fully-produced by students. That gets broadcasted on TV. Students get to go shoot, edit, put their stuff together, and it airs on the broadcast channel, PBS.”
KMOS, among many other smaller broadcast stations, recently obtained a NETA award (National Educational Telecommunications Association) for their original program “Wicked Awesome Stuff,” an educational show centered around exploring new technologies and community events. Episodes of the show include coverage on Kansas City’s annual ‘Planet Comic-Con’, Whiteman Air Force Base, the KC First robotics competition and Missouri Innovations Campus. The episode that earned the station the prestigious NETA award was entitled “E-Sports.”
“It was an episode about an after-school program in Columbia called Ukatsu – they’re basically a YMCA, but for gamers.” Boedecker explained. “They had programs about how to be a better “Super Smash Brothers” player, a better “Rocket League” player – they had an esports team that they took around and competed in high school events. They’re like the training ground for high school teams in the area.”
“My experience has been pretty good, going off two years by now.” Proctor says, “It’s been a lot of learning, things out of class and hands-on experience. A lot of cool things to add to my demo reel and just real-life experience. Coming up with weekly content and trying to stick to a schedule has helped a lot.”
KMOS has student positions available for a variety of duties, including trafficking and social media. Boedecker, former UCM graduate, began working at KMOS during his sophomore year and has since grown his position to become a producer. On top of being an excellent career opportunity for young students, it can provide knowledge and necessary skills for those that want to venture further into their career path.
“It is only beneficial.” Says Proctor, “You can always come out of it with experience and learn from it. You can get paid, but if not, don’t let it dissuade you. You should still try to be a part of it.”