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October 21, 1987 - Image 60

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-21

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that while "we've always talked about the
news business, really we're in the infor-
mation business. We're going to continue
to see a fair number of information-based
programs, reality-based programs."
In some markets, specialized informa-
tion is in great demand, and so are report-
ers who can talk clearly about a medical
breakthrough or legal intricacies. But the
danger is that the hot topic of today may
become the lukewarm topic of tomorrow.
Consuelo Mack, a business journalist, saw
her "Today's Business," a syndicated
show, canceled by its financial backers
before landing on her feet as the anchor
and editor of the "Wall Street Jour-
nal Report."
Mack considers the most promising seg-
ments in broadcasting to be not in front of
the camera, but behind it, in the multi-
layered staffs of producers, editors and
technicians. "Television is a team effort,"
she says. "The support staffs are much
larger, and the opportunities are better."
But do wide-eyed video fans want to work
behind the camera? A danger frequently
noted by veteran broadcasters is that too
many young people appear attracted by
what they perceive to be the glamour of
the business rather than the grit of jour-
nalism. Would-be newscasters who dream
of having their own chauffeurs and hair-
dressers should consider Hollywood.
No illusions: Jackie Levin seems to under-
stand that. The University of Illinois sen-
ior spent the summer as an unpaid intern
on ABC News's "Nightline" and says she
came to appreciate the intricacies of pro-
duction, often by sneaking into editing
rooms as videotape was being prepared.
"You can learn so much watching them
cut the tape, if you're an attentive per-
son," she says. "Before I came here, I was
interested in writing and reporting. Now
I've gained an appreciation for the produc-
tion end of it, the editing." Levin has no
illusions about her future: "I've heard it's
the worst time to get into the industry,
and I'm starting to believe it. I'm not
seeing a lot of people moving." But she
remains resolutely hopeful, making plans
to supplement her major in English with
course work in economics and political
science. Her goal: to find a spot in a Mid-
western market.
And there likely will be-for her and
others like her. Whatever the current con-
strictions, broadcast journalism will al-
ways have a hearty appetite for energetic
talent. Those who find work may not ad-
vance as fast as those who came to the
field in earlier decades, but they will have
a place in a fascinating industry. "The
people who are versatile and aggressive
are [still] going to rise to the top," observes
Diane Sawyer. "But it's going to be more
daunting at the beginning."


Try 'job fantasy' 101
For one hour each week, 30 students at
Susquehanna University sit down
with a career-placement counselor to
grope their way through the world of job
opportunities. In small-group discussions,
they debate a fictional case study of a hap-
less senior who decides to look for a job just
two months before her graduation. A "job
fantasy" exercise asks students to peer five
years into the future, imagining an ideal
working day-from the time they decide
what to wear to the office until the time
they return home in the evening and cook
dinner. It could all be standard career-guid-
ance fare, save for two facts: the students
are freshmen and first-semester sopho-
mores, not upperclassmen, and they're tak-
ing a required course.
At Susquehanna, a Lutheran-affiliated
liberal-arts institution of 1,400 students,
located in rural Selinsgrove, Pa., adminis-
trators decided to require the seven-week,
no-credit career-exploration course when
they revamped the core curriculum in
1985. Liberal-arts requirements were
strengthened, but faculty members also in-
dicated that they thought students
weren't pondering their careers early
enough. "I don't think they really have to
plan, but they have to start thinking about
it," says Pamela Keiser, assistant director
of career development and workshop in-
structor. The exercise may prove eye-open-
ing to some. "They want to drive a sports
car, have a family of kids in a two-story
colonial house," says Keiser, "but they
want to work as an elementary-school
The class is run by the school's place-
ment office. Like most universities, Sus-
quehanna offers training in resum6 writ-
ing, computers to help students identify
skills and internships to explore careers.
In addition to the course, Susquehanna
provides workshops on dual-career cou-
ples, peer counselors and practice inter-
views with area employers. "The main pur-
pose is not to promote careerism, but
rather to promote Susquehanna's re-
sources," Keiser says of the class. Still, the
move is somewhat contrariant: at a time
when many academics worry that students
are too job oriented too soon, Susquehanna
is taking a different tack.

Name: William
Donald Green
Age: 31
Occupation: Patrol
officer in
the Knoxville
(Tenn.) Police De-
partment, spe-
cializing in auto-
Education: B.S. in
psychology with
minor in criminal justice from
University of Tennessee at Mar-
tin, 1981; M.S. in criminal jus-
tice from University of Tennes-
see at Chattanooga, 1987.
Q. How did you become interested in
police work?
A. As a sideline when I was a
psychology major. It would take
a long time to get anywhere in
psychology. You need a master's
before you can practice at all,
and to be successful or have any
kind of bearing in the field, you
need a doctorate. I was looking
for a sideline to do between the
steps in my education. Once I got
into police work, I decided that
was what I was going to do.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I get to help people in most
situations. I try to help victims
find out who victimized them
and punish whoever that may be.
Q. What do you like least?
A. The shift work. I don't get to
spend much time with my fam-
ily. Often, shifts don't end when
they are supposed to. You may
have to follow up on a major
crime and work 12 or 14 hours.
You can't plan ahead.
Q. What about the job has surprised you?
A. There is not as much personal
input on how things are run. I
have little to say about when I
work and what type of equip-
ment I carry.
Q. What advice can you offer to college
students about police work?
A. Get your heart straight. It is a
field that involves soul-search-
ing. You have to make sacri-
fices, especially to your family.
Then there is always the possi-
bility that you will be seriously
injured on the job. The pay is
often low; you will see others
with equal education making
more money.



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