I can remember when I was 20 years old and sitting in my television production class at the University of Alabama 13 years ago.
Keisa Sharpe, the morning anchor of the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, came to talk to my class. I was so inspired by her.
I knew without a doubt that I wanted to do what she did and if I ever made it I would try to be just as encouraging.
Yesterday, I had the chance to do that. I was invited to speak to the students of Lindenwood University's "Advanced TV Talent" class.
They were great and very inquisitive.
It's difficult to tell students what they can expect in the Broadcast Journalism business. You can expect little pay, long hours and holidays away from family the first few years. But if you have the news bug, it won't matter. That doesn't change but the the industry seems to change every year. With more people getting their news from the internet and 24 hour cable news stations, fewer people watch local news. Technology is taking over positions. Computers are replacing people who edit, operate studio cameras, direct newscasts. One day, robots could be reporting the news.
But as I told them, even the people who don't usually watch local news will need it when events happen like a tornado heads for their neighborhood, a major highway shuts down for two years, or their professional baseball team is having a city wide celebration over winning the World Series.
It will always be a necessity.
I love my job and have to pinch myself sometimes when I think of the day I was hanging on to Keisa's every word and praying I would get the chance to anchor a morning news show. I just think we have to be smart about it, accept that the business is changing and be prepared to adapt.