December 20, 2010

MCMA students to serve as conference interns

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Three Southern Illinois University Carbondale students in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts will get a unique look at the television industry next month.

Ali Chehade, Brittney Edwards, and Gabrielle Ntsimi will work as interns during the annual National Association of Television Programming Executives (NATPE) international conference. The conference is Jan. 24-26 in Miami Beach, Fla. As interns, the students will likely begin pre-conference duties Jan. 21.

Edwards is a senior in radio-television from Marion; Ntsimi, a junior in video production and media industries, is the daughter of Candi Briggs-Ntsimi of Decatur; and Chehade, a master’s student with emphasis on new media and media management, is the son of Sabah Farhat, and Hassan Chehade, of Beirut, Lebanon.

NATPE is the largest organization of multiplatform video content professionals in the world, according to the organization, with more than 4,000 “media industry leaders” expected to attend workshops and seminars. In addition, the conference is the world’s largest marketplace for people to buy and sell television programs, said James A. Wall, a senior lecturer in electronic media marketing and management in the Department of Radio-Television.

Interns help with the information distribution, registration, publications distribution and other assignments that allow the conference to go smoothly.

But an important component is the exposure students will gain into the television industry, Wall said. The students will have opportunities to attend seminars and receive a “unique perspective on the current state of the industry,” not just with programming content but also how the industry is looking to distribute the content, he said.

Edwards and Ntsimi are currently students in Wall’s electronic and media programming class, and Chehade was in Wall’s class in fall 2009.

The organization provides transportation allowance, meals, conference registration materials, and access to the conference. Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements, Wall said.