Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mailbag: Dating game


This has nothing to do with journalism but I wanted to get your opinion. I've gotten very close with someone in the newsroom and would like to ask her out on a date. But I'm worried this could cause a problem in the newsroom if it doesn't work out. Thoughts on dating in the workplace?

Well, there's the old "don't fish off the company pier" advice that is always good. While it is inevitable that a business filled with young, attractive people would result in some attraction, you have to look down the road. It is nearly impossible for couples to move in this business. Finding one job is hard enough, but finding two gigs in the same place is next to impossible.

While there are married couples sprinkled throughout the business, they're usually stuck in one place for the duration. And think about this... suppose you two hit it off, fall in love... and then one gets a great job offer. What do you do?


Our station changed ownership and I'm worried about my job. However, our main anchor who has been here forever seems to think he's bulletproof. Is anyone really secure in this business, even if they have incredible talent?

Ask Peyton Manning.

Hi Grape,

Just curious on your take regarding the political coverage of the Presidential race this year. Are we getting less biased out there?

Well, I hope you are, but as a whole not much has changed. The one thing that seems to stick out this year is the way reporters and anchors portray Republicans and Democrats, as if every Republican is a right-wing whack job and every Democrat is a flaming liberal. Most people are pretty middle of the road, but the extreme members of each party are good copy, they scream the loudest, so they get the air time.

There are conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans out there. But you never see them because they get shouted down by the extremists. And we're the ones putting those people on television.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A new job is a chance to reinvent yourself

I recently talked to someone who doesn't work in television news who had spent his whole life in the same job. All I could think of was that his resume must be awfully easy to put together.

Most of us in the business have moved a lot, and those just getting in should know that packing boxes are things you don't throw away. It's the nature of the business, like baseball. You start in the rookie leagues, then move up the ladder.

Each time you move you have a unique chance that those who live in one place forever don't. You can become a different, and hopefully better, person. Those few days between jobs should be your opportunity to reflect on your previous experience. And maybe resolve to change some things.

-Did you always give 100 percent in your last job, or phone it in on occasion?

-Were you a positive force in the newsroom, or part of the gossip chain that tears a news team apart?

-Team player?

-Were you nice to the new people, or did you treat them like pariahs?

-Did you bring great stories to the morning meeting, or rely on management to supply you with assignments?

Bottom line, you're starting with a blank slate. You can make a great impression on day one, and keep it going through your stay at the new place.

Not many people get second chances in life. We get second, third, fourth chances to become someone new.

If you're about to move, time to think about who you wanna be.