By: Dylan Dixon
East Los Angeles College broadcasting professor, Jason “Mr. B” Beaton started working in radio approximately 30 years ago at KRLA.
There he began his career playing oldies to those living in East Los Angeles at the time.
Mr. B said ELAC is of great importance to him because the community was so accepting of him as a native Canadian.
At the start of his ELAC career he used to assist students in running the campus radio station, KELA.
However, in the past two years the radio has been silenced. The studio connected to a broadcasting classroom is full of equipment that could be used to give students a hands-on experience, but instead collects dust as it becomes quickly outdated according to Mr. B.
Mr. B said that ELAC offers four broadcasting classes.
One is Broadcasting 015, a lab class that is associated with the radio station as well as television production.
Despite having been successful in the past, the class has not been available for the past two years, and the studio equipment for that class has rarely been used Mr. B said.
Mr. B supervises a directed study class , Broadcasting 185 , where students are given the chance to produce and host shows with him. “My teaching method is hands on and my motto is students come first,” Mr. B said. According to Mr. B, Los Angeles is the number two market in broadcasting in regards to population and jobs.
Mr. B said radio, television, internet and other multimedia companies are hiring qualified applicants with basic knowledge in audio and editing. “Every student today should have a basic audio and video class and it should be considered a general education requirement due to everyone’s use of social media,” he said.
Mr. B believes ELAC could help community college students become prepared for he social media world and it has the potential to increase attendance in broadcasting classes. Mr. B said he fights to offer more courses for his students because he knows they successfully land students jobs in the industry.
Mr. B still works in radio, and has placed dozens of students in internships every semester.
He said he also teaches at Los Angeles Valley College where several more broadcasting classes are offered.
According to Mr. B, broadcasting and journalism belong together, especially in community college.
He believes students that are trying to figure out what type of media they want to work with may want to participate in both broadcasting and journalism.
It is a goal of his to collaborate with journalism, and have students help produce the stories and features in Campus News, and convert them into video and audio formats.
Although broadcasting classes on campus have decreased over the years, Mr. B said he hopes to continue his career at ELAC.