By Maria Gonzalez
Planning, preparation and dedication is what drives KELA, the East Los Angeles College Internet radio station.Instructor Jason Beaton was the first to lecture and teach the hands-on class Broadcasting 15, Radio and Television Production at ELAC.
He has 20 years experience working in Los Angeles’s radio industry, and continues to keep KELA alive with the help of students who decide to participate and dedicate their time its production.“Our broadcasting students at ELAC are so dedicated, they get to class at 6 a.m. on Saturday to start production,” Beaton said.
The class of 40 students is able to work on the various radio shows, producing programs that are divided into different types of music ranging from top 40s’, hip-hop and eclectic tunes, to segments that cover sports and entertainment news.Beaton has set up a YouTube channel that shows the work students have done throughout the semester, located at www.youtube.com/user/ELACBROADCASTING.
Beaton explains the difference between Internet and broadcast radio: “With Internet radio, you don’t have to follow FCC (Federal Communications Commission) rules and generally have more freedom to be creative.” Beaton said being part of social media outlets makes a person a broadcaster without them knowing.
“If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you are a broadcaster. Why not take a class so you can learn the fundamentals and achieve better sounding audio and outstanding video for your personal social media productions,” Beaton said.
He further said that having the fundamentals of broadcasting would help students in their future career. “The opportunity that students have here at ELAC with hands-on teaching and training is invaluable and will be used again and again throughout their professional careers,” Beaton said.
Although, the budget cuts have eliminated half of the broadcasting classes for this fall, Beaton is staying positive and is not letting this stop him with his future plans for the department. “The budget cuts have hit our department and discipline hard, but I’m a firm believer in staying positive for the students and community that ELAC represents,” Beaton said.
“The demand for learning broadcasting is huge, just like journalism. It is such a valuable subject for students at ELAC,” Beaton said. Although there is no broadcasting certificate offered at ELAC, Beaton is currently working, along with department chair Michael Kasnetsis, to make this happen.
“Absolutely we are in development of this now; Mhhy hope is to have a certificate very soon, followed eventually by a degree,” Beaton said. Beaton is also working on a book that will talk about the fundamentals of broadcasting and new media, like podcasting.
Furthermore, Beaton emphasizes on how technology is changing daily and how many universities today now require for students to produce audio and video for their assignments. “If Elans have a basic understanding of audio, video and how to produce them, they will be more prepared for the future,” Beaton said.
KELA’s website is www.elac.edu/KELA/.