Play It Forward-Giving Back

The weekend of February 14-16 was very special to me on a lot of levels. I was invited back to the Illinois State University campus to address broadcast journalism students at TV-10, the same place where I got my start 45 years ago. It's all a part of my Swagger Youth Mentoring 2020 project. I thank professors Laura Trendle-Polus, and Bob Carroll for giving me an opportunity to speak to the future journalists. The broadcast industry has changed quite a bit since I started back in the mid-70's. The only things that remain constant is work ethic, and reporter integrity. I assured students that those two elements will never be outdated. Social media and modern technology has changed the TV industry in ways I could not have imagined. Most changes have been positive, however, there is still no substitute for solid fundamentals, honesty, and the mastery of the English language. The ability to write it, read it, speak it, and communicate it in an effective conversational style. Now days everyone -reporter or not is a camera person. Our video capabilities are in our pockets, or the palm of our hands ready to go at a moments notice. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, and other platforms, gives everyone daily opportunities to be a journalist.

I was so impressed by the staff and students at Illinois State University.

Their facilities rival some commercial television stations I have seen. Students have access to all the TV industry bells and whistles that await them when they get out in the "real world" No doubt in my mind that they will be ready, willing, and able to perform effectively in a very competitive environment.

I am so proud to be an ISU TV-10 alum. The next generation of journalists coming from Illinois State University will be ready to hit the ground running. I know for a fact they are being throughly prepared for any and all challenges ahead. I will be more than willing to recommend them highly and I am prepared to write recommendation letters. So if one of their resumes come across your desk, give it a second, third, and fourth look. Then give them a call. they come from good stock, you'll be impressed.

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