On November 23, 2009, around 60 students from the Department of Broadcasting’s “Introduction to Broadcasting” and “Media Ethics” courses were treated to a special visit from CNN journalists John King and Dana Bash. Invited by Broadcasting Professor Stuart Schwartz, a veteran ABC news producer and Bash’s father, the two journalists shared career advice and answered questions for the students.
“Our goal with having Dana and John here today is to give us a sense for how things operate in the real world—in a working newsroom,” said Schwartz as he introduced King and Bash to the students gathered in the DuMont Television Center. He commented that although there have been many changes in the business, and the way in which news is delivered, there is still a demand for it. “People are still hungry for information,” he said.
Bash, CNN’s senior political correspondent covering Capitol Hill, has spent her entire 16-year broadcast career at CNN. She spoke about her start in the business in the Tape Library of CNN working as a field producer, and about even earlier internships. “The most that I learned about what I wanted to do—and not do—was at my internships,” she told the students.
Bash and King, who were married in 2008, were also candid about the difficulties of balancing their work and personal lives. “It’s tough,” admitted Bash. “I’m on air Monday through Friday and John is on air on the weekends. We don’t have a day off together.”
As the host of CNN’s popular Sunday morning talk show, “State of the Union with John King,” King is already a well-known figure in broadcast journalism but he will likely become even better known soon. He has been tapped to host a new primetime program beginning in early 2010 that will take over the time slot formerly held by Lou Dobbs and his program, “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”
Acknowledging the changes going on in the industry, King told the students, “It’s a scary time on one hand, but if I was you, I’d be excited. Technology is making news more accessible and understandable.” In discussing technology, he told them “You’re lucky, you are using some of the same equipment we use at the newsroom.”
In addition to technological skills, both journalists stressed the importance of writing to the students. “It’s all about writing,” said King, who started his career as a print journalist for the Associated Press. “I can’t underscore enough the importance of writing.”
See more photos from the event.