voice

Years ago I interviewed Maury Povich. It taught me about finding my voice

I was 23. I was unemployed. And I feared Maury Povich.

Those are my excuses for one of my first failures in journalism.

I had left my first TV news job without a new one. I U-Hauled home from Sioux City, Iowa and sought freelance gigs while living with my parents. I found a taker – New Jersey State Golf Association Magazine – and an assignment: walk one round with Povich, the talk show host with a 1.0 golf handicap. I arranged to meet at his home course: Hollywood Golf Club in Deal.

Deal hugs the Jersey Shore, but we never went there. “It’s very wealthy,” my mom said years later. “They don’t go to the same beach where we go.”

They don’t play the same golf courses either.

(more…)

PODCAST EPISODE #57: My speech to college journalists on finding their voice

Play

When journalism professors ask me to speak to their classes and groups, they typically request I focus on two areas: the craft and the business.

They want me to show my work, discuss how I produce stories, advise how to navigate the media landscape, and impart the wisdom of a broadcast professional.

These are important topics – but, in my mind, not the most important.

In one of my first blog entries, I wrote about what I learned (and didn’t learn) in journalism school. Here’s what I said I didn’t learn:

  • How to tell a story – in the advanced sense, anyway
  • About the cold hard reality of the industry
  • How to battle bureaucracy

Here’s what I said I did learn:

  • A foundation outside of journalism that I apply to my work as a journalist
  • To think critically about my field
  • That what we do is important, and what we do is valued

In short, I learned how to develop my voice.

I thought of this when I received the chance to give the keynote speech at the induction banquet of the University of Georgia’s DiGamma Kappa broadcast society. I decided I would encourage them in the way that had worked for me: implore them to think big and have something to say.

I recorded that speech and present it now as Episode #57 of the Telling the Story podcast.

(more…)