The passing of Walter Cronkite got me thinking. Not just about the man, and his amazing ability to make a nation feel safe even in the most terrifying moments.
But I also got to thinking about how a man like Walter Cronkite ultimately led me into television. I grew up watching Uncle Walter, and I remember vividly watching his last newscast.
It was bittersweet to watch clips of Cronkite at work–it hit me deep in that reporter place that respects absolute command of the medium, but it also made me long for a time when television seemed to have a limitless future and the course of history could quite literally pivot on the words of one man.
That’s changed. And in the process, many people like myself who were drawn to this line of work by men like Cronkite and Jennings and Kuralt have now found themselves out of the business, wondering how to find a way back in.
Since I started writing my blog at localnewser, I’ve heard from so many people–some friends, some who I’ve never met–all asking, essentially the same question: any ideas where I go from here? Any leads on who might be hiring? Not having good answers to those questions–and spending a lot of time recently talking to career coaches through my work at the Coaching Commons, I thought: we can do this together.
As a group, we’re a pretty damn smart and determined bunch. We hardly bat an eye when the police offer a ride-along late on a Saturday night, and we have no fear asking tough questions to powerful people. Together, we can help guide each other through these scary times, or as one coach put it to me this week, we can help one another get across the gap.
How, exactly? I’m not sure. Maybe we can get enough reporters, writers, producers, coaches, students and mentors together to create a network–feel unsure about social media? We’ll connect you with a coach or a reporter or web guru who can work with you on that. Out of work and paralyzed by financial fear? We’ll connect you to a career coach for guidance. Maybe some people will pay for coaching. For those who can’t, maybe we’ll find a way to coach each other or share coaching and mentoring ideas in this forum.
I’m opening this site to ideas. Let’s think about how we can pool our brains–and our hearts–and help each other. Not just to get across the gap from bad times to good, but also to really do some good work looking at ourselves, deciding what it is we truly want to do with our lives, and how to get there.
Already, some journalists, freelancers, and coaches have come forward to say they’d like to be a part of this. Let’s find a way to make it happen.
Together, we can get through anything.