I spent the better part of my life working as a radio and television news journalist. At 60 something… I approached the tail end of my career with fear and misgivings. I was the oldest woman delivering the news on a nightly basis in the state of Minnesota. That was a job in itself.
We live and die by our ratings. I was fortunate the Northland audience continued to tune in, despite my wrinkles and thinning hair. Looking back It felt as if I were taking part in a grand experiment.
The fear and misgivings have passed and now I am charting a new course. No more long commutes, nights away from family and more than enough time to rediscover myself.
When I first started my career it was thrilling to deliver the news night after night and tell the stories of the Northland and its people. News folks are often viewed as celebrities in their tv markets. You are recognized by strangers even when you just want to be yourself. You are judged. And rightly so.
I spent decades keeping my opinions to myself, seeking out both sides to a story and fighting not to pre-judge others.
My advice to the young journalists at the start of their careers? There is so much more than gathering the facts; Who, What, Where, When and Why. We must honor our instincts and maintain a code of ethics. We must also honor those who share their stories. When someone agrees to take part in a story they put their trust in our hands. That is a grave responsibility.
Caring deeply about my community I will not become a “slacker 2.0” as I move into my so-called Golden Years. I continue to expand my horizons by attending leadership workshops and learning how our democracy works.
As I dive into my new life it is with great hope that I will continue serving my community and maintain your trust.