Five Things Media Practitioners Can Be Thankful For

TV2 Thanksgiving Cover PhotoOn a personal level, I have too many things to list for which I am thankful. Definitely the top three are my wonderful parents, friends and, of course, the love of my life, Sarah. To see the ten things I am most thankful for see my Gallery page.

However, on a professional level, there are five things I know I am thankful for and hope all media practitioners are thankful for this holiday.

Poynter1. The Poynter Institute is “a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses.”

The second sentence of Poynter’s mission statement is exceptionally important. Promoting integrity is so very important in the sensationalized era in which we live. Poynter serves as an educator and consultant in the world of media ethics, which is a subject we can never contemplate, consider and evolve too much. The institution explores how to remain ethical and cautious even in this instantaneous, 24/7 news cycle in which we work. Visit Poynter online at

Associated Press2. The Associated Press is one of the most trusted names in journalism. From the AP Wires to the AP Stylebook, it is often cited as the golden standard for how news should be gathered and shared.

What I appreciate about AP is the companies dedication to maintaining their standard of excellence in the digital age. “AP remains the definitive source for reliable news across the globe. While the company has gone from distributing news via pony express to instantaneous digital transmission, its news values and mission remain the same.” Furthermore, I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve turned to AP to check a fact or find the proper way to write something. Find out more about AP’s history and services here.

Google Beta3. I’m sort of cheating here and mashing several things into one category of emerging technologies: Adobe, WordPress, Prezi, Apple, ENPS, Google, etcetera. Never before have there been so many opportunities to do great things in media as a student. Every day in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University, I have the privilege to work with my fantastic board of directors on how to harness the latest and greatest technologies to more effectively tell stories.

Back before advanced computers and non-linear editing systems, I can’t imagine what working in any kind of media production is like. Many people view fragmentation of traditional media and changing platforms as something to fear. I see it as the biggest opportunity of this century. Technology has always taken us on a wild and fascinating ride, and I just hope to hang on as long as I can to experience the still-to-come innovations in modern media.

John Butte Picture4. Industry professionals are the voices of reason, experience and wisdom. I have had so many mentors over the years from whom I’ve learned so much. I am thankful for each and every one of the them for taking time out of their professional lives to teach me and help me grow.

The list goes on and on for me. But just to name a few off the top of my head, thank you Bob Long, Bill Weisinger, Carol Costello, Mark Richards, Howie Chizek, Bob Earley, Bob Golic, Jim Isabella, Phil Ferguson, Colleen Seitz, Danielle Coombs, Tim Roberts, Mark Goodman, Joe Murray, Ben Whaley, Karl Idsvoog, Eugene Shelton, Dave Smeltzer, Candace Bowen, Gary Harwood, Dave LaBelle, Jan Leach, Jacquie Marino, Gary Hanson, Josh Talbott, Dan Tonelli, Jason Forbes, Bill Kennedy, Tracy Baughman and, most of all, John Butte, our TV2 faculty adviser. All of these people devoted their lives to media and helping students grow. For that, I am forever thankful.

Constitution5. This is going to sound 100 percent cliche, but I’m going to say it nevertheless. I am thankful for the First Amendment. Without it, purely and simply, I wouldn’t get to do what I love to do every day: manage a thriving television news and entertainment operation. I am eternally grateful for those 45 words.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Thank you to our founding fathers for having the foresight to include powerful protection for the work of media practitioners everywhere.

I’m wishing you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday!

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