NYFA Broadcast Journalism Program Updates Nov. 27

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Last Thursday, here in the United States, we celebrated Thanksgiving. If you aren’t familiar with this public holiday, at its core it is about “giving thanks” for what we have.
Most of you know that I have worked extensively in China over the course of my career. In fact, I was there twice this year working on documentary projects. And I could not have accomplished anything without the help of translators, location coordinators, reporters, co-producers and other local people. I am extremely thankful to have worked with them, and appreciate all their help.
Unfortunately, many international journalists refer to their local associates as “fixers.” The belief underlying that term is that these folks bribe and cajole the “powers that be” so that we (foreigners) can work without the bother of confronting greedy, obstructionist and generally ill-mannered locals. The Global Investigative Journalism Network posted a wonderful story earlier this month about this racist attitude.
I am also thankful for some of the wonderful people who have studied in the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program. One of them is Liz Rose, from British Columbia — “BC” as we “in the know” say — in Canada. Liz was a member of my first class of 1-year conservatory students. Since then, she has been on a mission to climb the seven major mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. In the process, she has raised money for deserving community organizations. Recently she was honored on the floor of the Canadian Parliament for her achievements. I encourage you to listen to an excerpt of what MP Pam Goldsmith-Jones had to say about Liz. 
We at NYFA believe journalists play a special role in society. It may sound old-fashioned, but we think journalists have a responsibility to act in society’s best interests, to “do good.” Liz is certainly doing this in her life. Thank you, Liz.
Finally, given that the news business can be pretty difficult at times, a sense of humor is essential. Last week, a former colleague and long-time friend, camera operator Mark DiPietro of “News12 New Jersey,” shared with me an absolutely wonderful video clip. Imagine that your boss has sent you out to cover a big local event — the implosion of an old sports stadium. You have been set up for a couple of hours, positioned to capture the entire scene. Then, at the most critical moment, BOOM … and your shot is blocked.
Thanks, Mark!
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