Thursday, November 6, 2008

Capstone Presentations Approach!

And with them, it's time to start thinking of invitations! Here's the DL on my presentation this year:

Date: Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Time: 6:00 PM
Place: Mueller Theater, McKelvey Campus Center

It's a new millenium, and many things are changing, especially in the news media. And although it may not appear as clearly, the way your TV news is being produced is changing as well. The old deadlines are still there, but the job that reporters perform is definitely evolving. Want to find out how? Senior Broadcast Communications major Alex Hines has spent the past semester using new methods in filming and editing, combined with the old pressure of getting stories done before the deadline! Come and hear all about what these new storytelling method involve, and what you might be seeing more of in the future.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Up and coming....

This week, out topic shifts from current professionals we admire to people the we admire who are still rising through the ranks of broadcasting here at Westminster College. The first person who came to mind when I started thinking was Ryan Hitchcock. This year Ryan has dove headlong into all the craziness that the BC department creates, and he’s come out of it doing well on all counts.

The first incident that came to mind was when I was shooting my first story of the year. When the photographer who I had asked to come with me on a shoot stood me up, I asked Ryan if he’d be willing to come along, and he accepted. As it turned out, the shots that he gave me were not only good of their own accord, but were probably better than the first person who shot for me.

He has also lately been taking over the role of technical director for the County Line, a job that is very demanding and fairly unforgiving as well, but he’s taken it on with great skill and is already doing well after only a few weeks in the position. Even if he’s not one of the most recognizable faces on the County Line, I’m pretty sure he’ll play a big role in the future of the show.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


So for this week, I'm going to look at another alum of WC who I respect a lot. He also happens to be related to me as well.

My brother-in-law Jason Kalajainen has in the space of ten years (or so) managed to carve quite a niche for himself in the professional world. After attending Westminster College, Jason went on to get a masters degree in non-profit administration, and he never really stopped from there. One of his first jobs put him into the art world, and he's risen through the ranks rather quickly. Since my sister is an artist herself, it's turned into a family affair. Jason started working for the Ann Arbor Arts Council, and has progressed through to the point where he is now the director of the prestigious Ox-Bow Art Retreat in Saugatuck, MI. Ox-Bow is an extension of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Jason was also recently honored with a Young Alumni Citation by Westminster College.

Despite this amazing work history, I admire and respect Jason for many other reasons. One of these is his work ethic. He pours himself into any project he takes on, and doesn't just stop when it's done. He stops when it's done WELL, and that's something that I'm trying to emulate more often. On another note, as a broadcaster, I also admire his talent at speaking to a crowd as well. He seems to have a knack with speaking, and keeping people's rapt attention, and this is something else I hope to learn as well.

Now, I realize that I may be somewhat biased, since we are related, HOWEVER, there's definitely no question that when I've been stuck on some problem, Jason, on multiple times, has been there to help me figure out exactly how to handle whatever comes my way. I really hope to take what I've learend from him to be a far more effective person in the professional world.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Broadcasting Inspiration

No matter what profession someone decides to enter, usually you can find a person who influences you to go for your goal and succeed in the path that you choose for yourself. In my case, I was fortunate enough to have such a person in my family, and she's been a huge part of my drive to become a broadcast journalist.

Peggy Robinson is a (VERY) distant cousin who also happens to be a senior producer at the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. I first met Peggy in middle school, before the idea of a career in broadcast journalism was anything more than a pipe dream of mine. After speaking with her, I was gripped by her descriptions of that world and so it kept my interest running in the field a bit longer. During my high school years, my family and I went to visit her in Washington, D.C. where she lives and where the NewsHour is based. While we were there, we were able to sit in on the live production of one of the daily NewsHour shows. It's at that point that I think I was finally bitten by the broadcasting bug.

Peggy has since kept in touch with me about my experiences in college and with broadcast news, and has also pointed my towards opportunities in the field, including my recent desk assistantship with the NewsHour at the Republican National Convention this month. Without a doubt, I would not be in the place I was at today without her guidance in the industry.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Day 3 Recap

So Convention continued last night, and it was GLORIOUS event again! Those republicans actually seemed to have some energy last night. And THEN Sarah Palin came out, and FINALLY it felt like the big party the conventions were designed to be. As to actual events, it was the usual drudge work (not to complain, just to define) on tap for the morning, and I did end up being a bouncer during the shows again, BUT I got to make it down to the convention floor, and THIS time, it was chock-full of delegates! The only problem is, anyone with a headset, camera, audio recorder, or other form of recording device had alREADY descended on the floor as well. So I didn't exactly get very far. It WAS very neat to be down in the crush of things as the convention was going on all around me, and the potential historic first female VP was speaking.

More from the RNC later on today; duty calls!

Shaping my career in college

Although there are many things that have contributed to my development throughout college while working towards becoming a professional journalist, there is one experience that really comes to mind in helping me decide where I wanted to end up and pointing out to me that my career was moving in the right direction. It came to me during the class Radio and TV Announcing that we had here at Westminster. About that time, I got my first taste of the most visible position in broadcast journalism, the anchor desk. It had always been a dream of mine when I was a VERY young kid to try out being a news anchor, after of course, the firefighter/police officer/doctor stage. As I got older I heard more and more about how it was a hard field to get in to etc., and eventually said, OK I'll let that go, and moved on to other things. However, after discovering the BC program again, I was inspired to try and reach for the old goal again, and it turns out that it's been there all along.

Getting behind the news desk for the first time was a VERY weird experience. No matter how simple it looks from the TV side of things, the whole production is (of course) much more complicated than it seems. But the one thing that makes it stand out for me was that, even with all the nerves running through me for my first time anchoring, it felt natural in some ways. And now I think back to it and realize how much of a turning point that moment was for me. From that point on, I finally had the experience of doing, albeit on a smaller scale, what I had literally only dreamed about for years. And it's nice to know it's something that (eventually) I will be able to keep on doing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a day!

So it's Day 2 of the Republican National Convention and what a day it's been! I've gotten to see a lot of things today that a big production has to go through that's kind of hard to experience any other way. In addition to my usual duties (including 6 AM newspaper delivery) I also got to stand in one of the sets and help manage the ebb and flow of people in and out during the regular show AND the special convention coverage later on in the same night.

And now for proof that Western Pennsylvania NEVER goes away, no matter how far away you are. As I was in the green room watching people come in and out, who should appear escorting a guest on the show but Liz Stephans and Scott Baker of, who had come to campus and spoken to the broadcasting majors. I had introduced myself to them then and we'd spoken since, and they still remembered me (always a good sign!) I may be meeting them later tonight to keep in touch further, as work kept me jumping while they were there just long enough to keep us from having a very long conversation.

That's all I'll add for now, I may be posting later tonight, but if not, look for another update tomorrow!