Saturday, November 5, 2011

Presenting an anonymous contribution ...

... from a friend, with a few edits and necessary deletions. Too good not to share!

Me again, Mike:

For several years now, I have also asked a version of the same question you posed about imparting broadcasting skills to aspiring students at the college level.

My question was focused on destination J-school programs such as our state school, the other Columbia, Medill at Northwestern and Newhouse at Syracuse. I know many veteran journalists and broadcasters who encouraged their offspring to follow a similar path. Two of these young men pursued both sports play by play and anchoring/reporting sports for local TV.

One is now back home waiting tables for three dining establishments, working 7 days a week, after spending several years calling A ball in such backwater towns as International Falls, MN, and the forlorn high desert town of Victorville, CA. His most recent employer was sold and he was out of a job with no new imminent prospects.

The other finds himself between jobs more than he's working, and has done weekend sports TV in upstate NY after graduating with honors from Newhouse. This other kid graduated Northwestern.

The questions are:

1. What constitutes curriculum in these institutions in 2011?
2. What is the faculty doing to vocationally direct its future graduates (and save their OWN jobs)?

Of course, you can always move to North Dakota, where the money and jobs are, reinvent yourself, and dodge the long arm of the law while crafting a righteous, "local hero" persona...

The answers are: The rug has been pulled. To use one of JC's frequent quotes, "they've been working over a trap door all this time."

Regarding the NY trip, I, too, was in NYC during the second year of the 64-65 World's Fair. My parents decided to send me with a friend for 6 weeks and we stayed with one of his relatives in Fair Lawn, NJ. We took the bus down Route 4 over the GW bridge every morning, picked up the AA Local to Times Square, with no more than $15 in our pockets, and had full run of the city.

We visited and toured every broadcast facility that would let us sawed off runts inside dressed as we were, including all 3 networks, WABC, WNEW, and WHN. I discovered I loved coffee at the Brazilian pavilion, rode the Uniroyal ferris wheel, took a million pix with my snappy Kodak 127, and even managed an aerial shot of the Spanish Pavilion, showing the red letters "SPAIN" on the roof of this building that would soon find its way to downtown St. Louis, and today is an integral part of the Ballpark Hilton.

We were also kicked out of the movie "Cat Ballou" by some fat Irish guard at a theatre in Times Square, who imposed his own personal moral code on us kids, forcing us to instead see "My Fair Lady," which became my first experience going to a movie theatre where they sold tickets for specific seats.

I also bitched out a bartender at a restaurant just off Times Square who had the nerve to try to charge me 35 cents for a large Coke, especially when the Woolworth's lunch counter across the street only charged a dime.

And on the way out of town, on a westbound Greyhound Bus out of Port Authority (there was an airline strike), I found myself in the embarrassing position AND condition of reading my very first porn novel, bought at the bus terminal, "Candy" by Terry Southern (writing as Maxwell Kenton).

That's something a 14 year old boy should definitely not attempt in public...