Back To Class, Briefly (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

I spent a few minutes talking about the future with some students. I had some answers for their questions and they had a few for mine.


Maybe someone will choose broadcasting.

There are about 30 sophomores in the DECA class at Pine Creek High school.  It's a three-year course, all about business and marketing and being an entrepreneur.  The kids also spend some of their time learning about various career fields, all in an effort to help steer them toward life decisions, even if they're only 15 or so.

I was apparently a last minute replacement for someone who couldn't make it...I'm OK with that.  I followed an accountant to the podium.  She had the crowd warmed up.

The kids were good, they listened patiently and asked some intelligent questions.  They wanted to know about getting started in the business and about moving up in the business. They asked about  the teleprompter, and about embarrassing moments on TV and about memorable stories.....and about whether I have to wear makeup.  I told them I did and many of them groaned. I told them I have to put it on myself and many of them groaned even louder.  I think they had this image that maybe I have a whole crew of people constantly at the ready for any wardrobe or makeup needs I may have. (Maybe I should have just let them believe that.)


I told them that the broadcasting business is changing, ad revenue is harder to come by in a difficult economy, and that the internet is a major competitor for all forms of traditional media, that it's about doing more with less now.  I also told them that broadcasting doesn't always pay very well at first and that you have to move around.....a lot.  Still...

Maybe someone will choose broadcasting.

I hope so.  I like to encourage young people to consider the career I chose because I want this business to be populated by talented, enthusiastic young people who will help it evolve and grow through the difficulties.  I also told them that the whole "Hey, I'm on TV" thing wears off pretty quickly and that the right reason to choose this career is the drive to let people know what's happening in their community and their world, not to be a "star". 

At one point I asked them a question.  I mentioned that I went to one of their rival High Schools, Doherty, but that it was a long time ago.  "How long ago?" someone wondered. 

I asked them to take a guess.   The answers ranged from 2002 to 1962.  I guess that's the good and bad of it.  Then again, there's no math in TV.  So......

Maybe someone will choose broadcasting.

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward



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