Today, the New York Film Academy (NYFA) welcomed Rachel Maddow, the popular American television host, political commentator, and author, as a guest speaker at NYFA’s New York City campus.
NYFA’s Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein, led the lively and informal discussion with Ms. Maddow to a standing room crowd of more than 100 NYFA students, including those enrolled in the broadcast journalism, documentary filmmaking, producing, and directing departments.
The educational setting allowed for the unique opportunity for students to engage with—and learn from— an industry luminary in a wonderfully unfiltered way. Ms. Maddow described her rather circuitous route to her current place in broadcast history and brought laughter by telling the audience about the roster of myriad jobs that she took to survive after earning a doctorate at Oxford in political science.
She sympathetically gave the American paleoconservative and politician, Pat Buchanan, just-dos for helping to launch her career when he chose her to be his on-air adversary for primetime political debating. She shared with the broadcast journalism students the ingredients that she feels helped her to build her career and gave an honest appraisal of the current state of the television news industry.
“I think in broadcast journalism, the camera is a little bit like an x-ray,” said Maddow. “And you can tell if the person on camera has done their own work, has done their own reading, has come up with their own ideas or if they are just reading something that somebody else wrote for them.”
Of keen interest to many is Ms. Maddow’s engagement in current political and societal issues from her perspective as a longtime activist, and her passion for numerous causes shone through in today’s discussions.
Ms. Maddow provided students with invaluable professional and personal wisdom, and the New York Film Academy is grateful to her for taking the time out from her busy schedule to impart it to our students.
Before departing, Ms. Maddow left our students with some words of advice: “Don’t tell people how you feel, create a feeling in them and let it be their own experience.”
The Rachel Maddow Show airs on MSNBC at 9:00 pm Eastern, Monday through Friday, and is rebroadcast at midnight Eastern.