04/16/2021 | Press release | Archived content
For students and recent graduates planning to work in television and radio broadcasting, there is much to learn about the industry. Even before landing that first professional role, it can be difficult to find helpful resources or know the right steps to take. Union broadcasters are making a difference by helping the next generation through mentorship and guidance.
To offer aspiring broadcasters more insight about the industry, the SAG-AFTRA President's Task Force for Education, Outreach & Engagement hosted The Next Generation of Broadcasters livestream on April 13. The hour-long panel featured KRON4 anchor and reporter Justine Waldman, Minnesota Public Radio host and reporter Nina Moini, KDKA-TV news producer James Santelli and KABC digital reporter-community journalist Ashley Mackey as guest speakers. SAG-AFTRA National Vice President, Broadcasters, Broadcasting Steering Committee member and KCBS radio reporter Bob Butler moderated.
The session offered advice straight from the source: experienced, professional union broadcasters. Each panelist discussed how they started in the industry, as well as the work involved in their current roles. They also emphasized that aspiring broadcasters should hone their skills and continue their development outside of the classroom setting through internships and networking opportunities.
'Even now, in college, I think what people should be doing is building curiosity about what's happening in their community,' said Waldman. 'Get a wide variety of news so you're seeing not only what makes a story, but also who [broadcasters] are speaking with to make the story.'
Panelists also discussed the ways the industry is working to better approach safety, mental health and self-advocacy. Santelli and Moini took great care to explain how union membership empowers broadcasters in newsrooms and in the field.
'When I first started my job, it was not a union job, and over the past few years, [I and other producers] started to realize there were a lot of things about the job that we loved, but there were a lot of protections that we weren't granted,' said Santelli. 'There was no sort of recourse if you were to lose your job, no overtime or turnaround time paid and no guarantees of how many producers would even be staffed at any given time.
'Unionizing through SAG-AFTRA and talking about some of those issues has helped us in determining what kind of workplace we want to have and what most benefits the people that we serve.'
Visit sagaftra.org/videos to watch other workshops for broadcasters.
The views expressed by the guests are their own and not that of SAG-AFTRA. Any mention of products or services does not imply SAG-AFTRA's endorsement.