Monday, March 22, 2010

Coker Communication Seminar Students hear from Television News Anchor

Rusty Ray, the morning news anchor from WBTW -- Myrtle Beach and Florence, was on the campus of Coker College Monday morning to share some thoughts about a communication career with members of the Communication Senior Seminar. One section of this seminar is something I call "Fridays with Morrie." Sometimes we do this segment on days other than Friday but it is an opportunity for students to get some life lessons from people with whom they don't normally interact. Rusty Ray, who has talked with my media writing classes on occasion, drove up from Myrtle Beach to join us for a Monday/Morrie segment. First -- thanks to Rusty for making this trip.
Next, the students got to hear from someone who has now been in the broadcasting business since 2002, soon after his graduation from the journalism program at the University of Maryland. Next, the students got to hear from someone who is rapidly approaching his 30th birthday and who find that he is viewing life differently than he did at 22 or 23. Rusty covered a bit about the world of journalism, a bit about the world of a television reporter and a bit of living and learning. I am never certain what the students learn but these are valuable class periods for the professor, reconfirming for me why it is important for students to get information from beyond the classroom walls.
What was Rusty's first idea? He told the students what it was like for him finding a job back in 2002. "I sent out 45 tapes of my work, I did not get one response." We discuss the idea that finding a job is often the most difficult job you will have and this was a first-hand view of that concept. He also mentioned how the economy had affected the news room and the numbers of jobs lost in 2009. But, the TV-13 morning news anchor also had some good news about things in the economy. He said it appears that things are turning a corner and that there may be more hiring in the coming months.

I really enjoy these "Morrie" class segments; and my hope is the students get as much from them as I do.

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