Parting Shots and Thoughts from Bruce
First things first... many thanks to everyone who has written, called and stopped by this week to offer kind words on my pending retirement. It is touching and greatly appreciated. I promise to respond to each message personally in the next day or two.
Someone asked if I had any parting shots for local television journalists, owners and managers as I get serious about retiring. Well, I have a couple... and hope to have a lot more to say on both in the coming months. Here they are in a (very) brief version.
First, I just wish we told our story better. Local TV journalism is too often portrayed as a caricature of itself. We're almost always depicted as not too bright, way too pushy and only out for ratings. I've been in newsrooms for 40 years and know this is just not right. That people in fact do work very hard to cover their communities seriously and with good intentions. But we and no one else tells our story very well. When are we going to be pushier about our profession and how hard we work to make sure people know what they need to know about their communities?
The second is I wish we could do a better job of convincing the public of how hard we all work to keep bias out of our reporting. It seems like too many viewers believe that we all think the same way and are all left wing radicals with an agenda. Again, I've been in local TV newsrooms for a long time and have yet to hear anyone suggest "slanting" or "biasing" a story a certain way. Sure it looks that way at times and sure, we make mistakes, but are we ever going to be able to convince the people of how hard we all work to keep things "down the middle?"
Well, those are two things on my mind as I approach retirement... along with running one more marathon, fly fishing, hiking, skiing, reading and writing.
More later...the editor says I've already used up too much space.