Last summer, Natasha Espinosa ’18 interned at NBC Sports during the 2016 Olympic games, learning the ins and outs of sports and broadcasting entertainment during one of its busiest seasons. While her experience at NBC was highly gratifying, it also revealed to Espinosa that sports broadcasting is not where her primary entertainment interest lies. Instead, she hopes to focus less on production, and more on the corporate and business realm of the industry, as well as on more programming based areas.
The search for an internship that fit this criteria brought Espinosa to the standards and practices (s&p) department at Viacom Media Networks in New York City. Viacom is a mass entertainment company that owns various networks like Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and a variety of other networks. As an s&p intern, Espinosa screens all content produced by Viacom to ensure that it meets the moral, ethical, and legal standards of the corporation.
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School: Coral Reef Senior High School
Behind all the corporate language and legalities, the work Espinosa does is of personal significance, as the choices she makes helps to ensure that the content Viacom is releasing is responsible and smart. “Especially in our current political and social climate, I’m glad to be working in a department that is honest and prioritizes marginalized communities,” she said.
For Espinosa, a typical workday involves watching television, and a lot of it. She watches Viacom programming and reads scripts from Viacom shows, noting anything that might be of concern for the department. Then, she compares her notes with those of her supervisor to see if they listed any of the same things. Espinosa’s work each week is split according to channel, so on two days per week she works with Kids & Family/Adult targeted networks (Nick, Nick Jr., etc.), and on the other two days with Music & Entertainment networks (MTV, VH1, CMT).
In addition to Viacom programming, Espinosa also screens programming from several other networks to monitor the kinds of content they are releasing. She makes note of any violence, language and sexual content that may seem extreme for the audience, channel/network, and rating of the program.
Through her work with Viacom, Espinosa is doing her part to make the omnipresent force that is modern media more ethical for public consumption. “Mass media entertainment is a difficult avenue to regulate, in many more ways than just moral. My work with Viacom is a great opportunity for me to apply my dream of working in this industry with my sociology major,” she said.