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Back To School

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What an honor it was for this Sonoma State graduate to speak to aspiring broadcasters at Pepperdine University.  First of all, the campus itself, with a million dollar view of the Pacific, is a huge draw.  On more than one occasion, in fact, the Princeton Review has deemed it to have "The Most Beautiful Campus."  If you've never been, it sits atop a steep hillside in Malibu.  I snapped this photo from the parking lot to give you an idea.

But more than the view, the prestige of the university is palpable and, even, invigorating.  And, as Bob DeCastro and I learned, their broadcast program is extremely impressive.

Bob and I were asked to evaluate the 5pm student newscast and provide feedback at the end of the 30-minute broadcast (which airs live throughout Calabasas and Malibu Tuesdays and Thursdays).  The students rotate positions from anchor to camera operator, director to meteorologist, for instance, on a weekly basis to get a sense of the various roles.  They write their own scripts and work with first-rate equipment.  And, how about this: their set happens to be a "hand-me-down" from Fox 11.  What a gift!

As the newscast got underway, Bob and I intently watched and took notes as the anchors read the teleprompter with ease, the entertainment reporter dished on Beyonce, and the director called the shots, as if she'd been doing it professionally for years.  We were impressed and happy to give our critiques; "Don't forget to smile, if you make a mistake, it's ok, and know everything there is to know about your story." We said our peace, the students responded with gratitude, and we posed for this great photo!

I know broadcast programs like this are common throughout the country, but having majored in Political Science, this was something I never experienced in college.  So, witnessing what these future broadcasters have at their fingertips was a memorable experience for me.  I can't wait to see one of these faces on the air someday!

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