Bearkat Internships: Hunter King
Oct. 12, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd
Bearkat Internships is a Today@Sam series that features select SHSU students who participated in recent internships. If you (or a Bearkat you know) would like their internship considered, fill out this form.
Since he was a child, Hunter King, a senior at Sam Houston State University, knew he wanted to be on the air. The only thing that changed was what he would present to viewers. Initially, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of the weather anchors he would see on TV, providing information on weather patterns and how they would affect people’s day seemed like the job for him.
As he grew older, King was intrigued by a different portion of the broadcast, the breaking and feature news portion. He later decided to follow this passion and will graduate with a degree in mass communications and multiplatform journalism in the spring of 2024.
King credits his participation in the high school yearbook committee, student newspaper and student news team with giving him the foundational knowledge needed for creating higher-level content.
“I didn’t really know when I got to high school that I wanted to do news for sure, but I joined the yearbook and newspaper, got to writing news and thought, this is something I could do,” King said. “I started interviewing people and I realized talking to others is something that I already do, why not make a career out of interviewing them and telling their story? So I fell in love with the news.”
Since coming to SHSU, King has grown as a journalist and earned the opportunity to spend his summer as a news intern at KPRC–TV. He became one of nine interns at the station, one of which was also a Bearkat and worked with Randy McIlvoy, a four-time Emmy award-winning sports anchor/reporter.
“I was a little nervous at first, but that kind of went away and then I was excited,” King said about his reaction to being hired on as an intern. “It made me feel like the hard work paid off because they had confidence in me at least to come and be with them over the summer. It made me feel good about my situation.”
He started out working with McIlvoy at the sports desk, attending events for the Houston Astros and Rockets and meeting local legends along the way. King and his fellow news interns also shadowed reporters, learning how they produce content for a large market station and meet their deadlines.
While doing a rotation shadowing Re’Chelle Turner, a reporter with the station, King was able to cover his favorite story of the summer, the spontaneous closing of a local bridal shop.
“It was not only an interesting story to look into and investigate, but being able to talk to people when it happened was pretty moving,” King said. “Some of them were crying, some of them were physically angry, so just seeing the emotion from people we were interviewing, but then also having to disconnect those emotions and investigate what was happening, was a valuable experience.”
Part of the story’s appeal was seeing it come to a happy ending when a neighboring bridal shop stepped in to provide dresses to the distraught brides. King said this really highlighted the importance of covering local news, as he worried that no one would have helped the brides had the station not shared their plight.
After spending most of the internship at different parts of the station, King was able to work with his fellow Bearkat intern, Sophia Cruz, and the other students at the station on an intern-run newscast. Each of them played their part in creating a full newscast, featuring news packages, anchoring, sports and weather. He believed that the newscast was a great success and all the students involved seemed to thoroughly enjoy seeing the fruits of their labor in class being visible to millions of viewers.
“I would say my classes helped me a lot because you need to know the news lingo, how to use a camera, produce things, punch a show and things like that,” King said. “Not only that, just having confidence. If somebody who has never been on camera before were to go into that, I could imagine they would probably be nervous and not strong on camera. But having done that before with Ron Marasco’s classes, I felt relatively natural on camera, so it was nice to have that confidence already.”
King said his success at the station was possible thanks to the rigorous coursework he has completed in his broadcast production courses, noting that something as simple as knowing industry shorthand can set applicants apart. His experience at the station only added to his skillset and provided him with an inside look into how a station serving a large market operates. As he looks ahead to his last semesters at Sam Houston and entering the workforce, King is confident that work in and out of the classroom has prepared him to dive into his professional career.
“Professors have done a good job of preparing us,” King said. “They’ve told us what to expect out there and they’re gearing us up for what’s to come. Then actually doing it at KPRC 2 helps a lot. I’m happy I’m going to be going into a newsroom having done that already.”
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