by Linda Porter, Skanska USA Building Inc.
Ok, three months in and the Best Class EVER entered Media Day with great anticipation! We were given instructions for the day by our Day Chairs about Tweeting and told to use this technology throughout our media day experience. WHAT?! I tried … #LTMediaDay a couple of times but forgot about it most of the time.
We loaded our buses and headed to the Tampa Bay Times, also the sponsor for our day. I didn’t know they were the largest in the Southeast and have been in business 128 years! Our class learned about the highs and lows of the world of journalism. Media Revolution – from Rabbit Ears to Real Time is how they described it. We learned about the ever-changing technology that threatens and challenges the industry. These folks have to constantly remain creative in order to keep their readership. We were given scenarios of various news stories and challenged with an activity of where we would put them on the cover of the newspaper. Lead, Centerpiece, Stick, Rail, Second Story, Bottom Story, it is forever changing, literally, minute by minute. Thanks to Paul Tash, Bruce Faulmann, Earnest Hooper and Adam Smith for their hospitality and insightful explanation of life in the Times.
Next we visited ABC Action News – WFTS. This was by far the highlight of my day! The team broke up into three groups and was given a tour of the station. We received a brief explanation of the marketing efforts from the sales team lead by Mike MacLean, Teresa Morgan, Michelle Boley, and Debbie Deskins. News Director Bill McFarland showed us where most of the work takes place on the floor. Production Manager Charlie Paul took us close and up front where the anchors and meteorologists work. Some of us actually sat behind the anchor desk. Our group caught the tail end of Deiah Riley and Dan Shaffer’s noon segment. Both the TIMES and WFTS mentioned that reporting the news is a careful consideration of whether to report or not to report a potentially devastating story. The parallelism between the TIMES and WFTS is …. Journalism.
WEDU was our final destination for MEDIA DAY. They’ve been there for 40 years. Who would have thought they were tucked away on North Boulevard? Thanks to Ms. Susan Howarth, President and Chief Executive Officer for opening the studio to our class and allowing us to share in OUR station. Mr. Geoff Simon facilitated the panel discussion with Sara Quinn, The Poynter Institute, Jack Harris, 970 WFLA and Alexis Muellner, Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Newspaper, Television, and Radio – journalism at its best. I’d sum it up with these adjectives: Mesmerizing, Entertaining, Differentiating, Imaginative, and Alluring! Thanks Leadership Tampa for allowing us to experience MEDIA DAY!
We really are the Best Class Ever! And this was by far the best day ever.