Tim Hamilton is an assistant professor of communication and multimedia producer for the University. After graduating with a B.A. in mass communication in 1980, Hamilton began working with KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he spent 32 years as a videographer for news and sports, before returning to the University.
Why did you return to Harding?
What I realized was that as much as I enjoyed my job at KATV, what I really loved was working with Paul Eels, the sports director at the time and the “Voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks.” He was the kindest man I ever knew. In 26 years of working with him, I never saw him lose his temper, get rattled or raise his voice at anyone. We were in some really tight moments and windows in the commercial breaks before he was about to be live, and he just kept me calm in a very chaotic environment. After 26 years of working together, he was killed in a car wreck and from that moment on, it was not the same. I started thinking about what else I could do. I still enjoyed the job, just not like I did before. I loved my time at Harding as a student, and I’d get back to campus occasionally to cover a story. I guess I always thought in the back of my mind it might be fun to come back and try to pass on a little bit of something that I learned in this profession.
What does your job entail?
When I started it was as the multimedia producer for sports, but they asked me if I would be willing to teach a class as an adjunct, if needed. During my second semester I taught the TV production project class, and since then I have had at least one class every semester. After we started a major for students interested in multimedia journalism, I began teaching sports broadcasting, sports writing and reporting, and also an advanced video production class in the spring. Outside of teaching, most of my time is at games supervising students who work the cameras, direct, produce, and report on camera interviewing players and coaches after the games.
What is your favorite part about working with students?
My favorite part is when you have a student in class, and then they graduate and get that first job, and you get a call that said you were exactly right about something you said in class. That might be number one because I do try to be extremely honest about the profession. I try to really tell it like it is as far as what it’s like out there, and I want them to understand the pressure, stress, deadlines and tempers and all that stuff that can go on. It’s also a lot of fun to be at the games and watch students get better each and every time they are out there. When they are directing their first game they may struggle a bit, but then they get to their second game and you can tell they are already better. After two or three games, they are really doing a good job at that point, and it’s fun to see the progress in whatever position they are working.
What are some of your favorite moments on the job?
If I was picking a favorite moment while working at KATV it would have to be the Razorbacks winning the national championship in 1994. My favorite memory since I have been back at Harding would be when the Lady Bisons made it to the Final Four a few years ago. The game that they won at Rhodes that put them into the Final Four was probably the most exciting game since I have been here. That was a great evening, the best I have seen at Rhodes during my time here.
What advice would you give to students going into this profession?
There is real value in showing up. What I mean by that is be on time, work hard and always have a great attitude. I think you can have less talent, but if you show up on time, work hard and have a great attitude, that makes up for the difference in talent level. It’s not always the person with the most talent that advances. I have seen people with tremendous talent be late, not work hard and have a lousy attitude, and it hurts them in the long run. If you show up, then you have an opportunity to stand out.