It's Time to Make a Change
Dad always told me not to get too attached to "things," especially cars. They're just machines, he said, that can be replaced - usually with something newer and better. Almost 20 years ago I bought one of those fancy new Dodge minivans. They were newly restyled: spacious, yet sleek and modern. I was proud of that van, and the first weekend I had it I drove it 350 miles to show my dad. Dad had brain cancer, but he almost literally crawled to his front porch, looked to the driveway, rasped out "Nice car," and returned to his bed. Those were the last words I heard him say. So much for not getting attached to a "thing."
I've been driving that van for 19 years. Oh sure, I wanted something new. I wanted fancy electronics and those new safety features. But I just never seemed to get around to it. Buying cars for other family members and paying for my daughter's college tuition always seemed to be the higher priority. Besides, despite Dad's words of caution, I had grown attached to it.
Over the past few weeks, all the "character traits" of the car started to bug me. The small dents. The rust spots. The missing hubcap. The hood ornament flopped on its side. And I started to see the van for what it was. Functional. Reliable. But outdated. Inefficient. Yucky.
It was time to make a change.
In many TV newsrooms, it's time to make changes. New technology, and the sleek new practices that have evolved from that technology, have made some traditions look outdated in comparison. New economics have changed the environment, and conservation is more important than ever. Maybe it's time to lose that attachment to some of the old things in your newsroom, and to old ways of doing things.
I have to go now. I'm heading out to my new car to program the NAV system, synch up the cell phone, and set my favorite satellite radio stations. Dad liked new things; he would have approved.
- Mike Anderson