Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hope in Hartman

Nadeen, Steve Hartman and I


After work I drove over to campus, FOUND A SPOT next to the Florida gym, and sprinted straight to the Weimer basement, where inside the spiffy "NEW 21st century CMIR Newsroom" was Steve Hartman.

I felt like I was standing in front of the meat department at Publix. Minus the chill (21st century newsroom, no air conditioning) the place was filled with fresh meat; raw, graduating-in-thirty-days-journalists, glued to the seasoned network correspondent thinking, "he's so lucky he has a job."

Hartman began his career in what my classmates and I call the "good ol' days" of broadcast journalism, when working your butt off as an intern got you more than valuable experience. Hartman was a news intern at WTOL TV in Toledo, Ohio (market 73) then got hired as a general assignment reporter. I couldn't help but look around the room and think, as we enter the world of $19,000 non-negotiable two year contract, sign here one-man-band industry of television news broadcasting, oh what I'd give for a time machine! I'd take that puppy straight back to 1983, land an internship at WTOL, and be Katie Couric faster than Hartman could say "everybody has a story."

Okay that's a joke. Hartman is amazing- his storytelling has won him the highest accolades in journalism, from Emmys to Murrows, this man is THE master. However, the leg up I'd have on 1983-Hartman is the knowledge of the profession's dismal future, reality for 2010-Giannas.

Tonight Hartman gave me hope. When a student asked one of the most basic questions, "how do you do what you do," Hartman's response is what will keep me going, all the way to the top, with or without a time machine. He said it's all about genuinely caring, listening to someone's story and telling it from the heart.

It was at that moment I felt an amazing calm roll over me. I smiled, thinking the man with Murrows and Emmys, whose work has touched countless lives around the world, had inside him the same fire I was born with, a passion for people. Something you can't get at Publix.

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