Bringing Learning to Life
A year removed from his life as a student at Asbury University, KET’s Kevin Combs regularly travels across the Commonwealth, putting together video stories about the communities he visits in his role as a multimedia journalist with Kentucky Edition.
It’s a dream job for the Knox County native, who grew up watching KET’s early childhood programming and ultimately sought a degree in media communications to learn the art of television production.
“Over the past year, I’ve traveled more around Kentucky than I have in my entire life,” Combs said. “The best part of my job is that each week I’m learning something new, both about the state I love and what it takes to put together the kind of informational, well-made stories that KET is known for. It’s been so cool to see the growth in my professional development, as well as in myself.”
Combs said he credits his promising career start to a fateful day in college when he attended a job fair and discovered that KET offered paid internships to students pursuing careers in media production. He applied on the spot and soon afterward learned he’d been awarded one of the O. Leonard Press Internship positions, established in honor of KET’s founder, working on KET programs.
“When you’re in college studying a subject, a lot of the knowledge you gain is theoretical,” Combs said. “But at KET, I was suddenly working on live programs every day, getting hands-on experience working the cameras, the teleprompter and all the other aspects of production. It was really exciting to get that real-world experience so early in my career.”
I get to see how much time and effort goes into all our programs, and it’s really made me appreciate the work that KET does.Kevin Combs
Multimedia journalist with KET’s Kentucky Edition
KET’s internships are just one of the many ways in which the network opens its doors to students, offering a place to learn about the wide world of media production. Throughout the year, dozens of schools visit the KET Network Center in Lexington to tour the studios and see first-hand how Kentucky’s statewide broadcast network puts together its award-winning programs and educational resources. Additionally, KET’s Media Lab hosts dozens more school groups each year, whether in person or via its online virtual sessions, where students in grades K-12 receive hands-on instruction on a variety of media-related topics – everything from video production to audio editing to learning the fundamentals of computer coding.
“That’s one of the reasons that KET is such a great place to work,” Combs said. “On any given day, I’ll come into work and there will be a group of kids on a school field trip walking through KET’s halls, looking into the studios and pointing and exclaiming ‘Oh my gosh, there’s Big Bird!’ It’s one of the things I’d wished I’d been able to do as a kid, seeing KET’s inner workings and how everything gets made.”
Combs’ internship at KET led to a full-time position with the network after he graduated college. And after six months, Combs was promoted from an assistant producer role to one as a multimedia journalist, where he was charged with creating his own story packages.
“Before I worked here, I never realized the amount of content KET makes about Kentucky,” Combs said. “I get to see how much time and effort goes into all our programs, and it’s really made me appreciate the work that KET does. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people come up to me while I’m on a shoot, telling me how much they love the work we do at KET. And that’s a great feeling to work at a place that’s so beloved.”