On December 2, 2016, the Montclair State University School of Communication and Media honored Lester Holt, anchor of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Dateline NBC with the 2016 Allen B. DuMont Broadcaster of the Year Award. What has been overshadowed during the much-celebrated event was the effect of Holt’s visit upon the students who also reported on the day’s festivities. It seems they, too, were honored – by Holt’s appearance and his message.
Three student journalists and broadcasters – Tyler Rosenberg, Samantha Williams and Luis Ari Lopez Wei, wrote stories for various student media platforms.
Holt’s first stop on campus was an interview for Carpe Diem, the School of Communication and Media’s student weekly produced public affairs program. Rosenberg, a senior in the School, directed the episode. He says, “Getting the opportunity to work with two incredible talents such as Lester Holt and Professor Marc Rosenweig [the show’s host] was a humbling experience. They made the show run very smooth, they fed off of one another and their level of professionalism was very distinct.” The Holt episode is scheduled to air on YouTube later this month and on Comcast and Cablevision in northern New Jersey in January.
“On the Carpe Diem episode, I really enjoyed when he told us to be a Swiss Army Knife,” said Williams, a senior in the School and the news director for WMSC, the university’s student-run radio station. “Being able to cover light, hard and breaking news…to be able to do it all. It was a great metaphor. He was also a super kind and genuine person and it was an honor to be able to speak with him.”
Lopez Wei’s feature story on the visit was reported for The Montclarion, the student-run newspaper, and it can be read at: https://themontclarion.org/news/montclair-state-names-nbcs-lester-holt-broadcaster-year/
After the Carpe Diem interview and award presentation, School Director Merrill Brown provided introductory comments to the Colloquium event. “At a time where the journalism profession is coming under intense scrutiny and criticism, it’s reassuring to know that a man of NBC Anchor Lester Holt’s experience, judgment and integrity will continue to be one of the most important voices going forward as we enter a presidential era certain to be unlike any period before it in terms of the relationship of the government and the press. Holt will continue to be an extremely positive role model to our students who aspire to become the broadcasters, journalists and media professionals of the future.”