Monday, January 22, 2018

Who Are Your Biggest Influences As A Journalist?

Answering the questions people have
asked (or I have asked myself) about
my past, present, or future.
Although many influences have guided and nudged your servant over the years, I would narrow it down to three people. First, I have to give props to Walter Cronkite, who I remember watching on the evening news as a kid. Uncle Walter, whether I realized it or not at the time, turned me on to how TV news could be an unfolding history book if the writing and storytelling was up to snuff. It's a skill I'm trying to reconnect with now more as all of us in our newsroom are thinking about how to reach audiences.

I give honourable mention to John Chancellor on NBC.

My second influence would be reporter Bob Dotson, who filed a number of feature pieces for NBC, all with superb storytelling.

Honourable mention goes to Steve Hartman of CBS. He can turn nearly any subject into an engaging piece, and he used to prove it by letting people throwing a dart at a map and finding a story where it landed.

My third influence would be CNN's Jeanne Moos, whom I consider to be a master of weaving writing and sound. She mainly constrains herself to a news commentary/parody role these days, but during the 1990's, I would love running her stories on the weekend newscasts. I couldn't find one of those, but I found one that comes close.

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