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Chester C. Wells: His Story

Home > Reading Room > How to break into network news ... and stay there

SPJ Reading Room

How to break into network news ... and stay there

By Jaime George

A group of network news journalists gathered at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla., on April 28th. And, no, they weren’t there to cover another twist in the saga that has become the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith. These three seasoned pros spent the afternoon imparting wisdom about network news to students and young working journalists.

Mark Potter, NBC News Correspondent; Arash Ghadishah, ABC News Producer; and Brian Andrews, Reporter/Anchor with WFOR-CBS 4 in Miami were the headliners at the Society of Professional Journalists South Florida Pro Chapter’s “How to Break into Network News and Stay There” event.

When asked what skills journalists need to succeed at the network level, all three panelists agreed on the keys:

— Aggressiveness.
— The ability to really talk to people.
— The ability to write a good story quickly.

The panelists later described the most difficult story they ever had to cover.

Potter detailed his efforts covering the drug problem in Miami in the 1980s, when doing story after story on crack houses wore him down.

Ghadishah talked about covering the Sago mine tragedy in West Virginia, when the news came that the miners were alive...and then dead.

Andrews remembered hiding behind a mailbox during the heaviest winds of Hurricane Katrina, when he began to fear for his own safety.

To see pictures from the event, and to learn more, follow this link.

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