Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Making the Most of My Mic

I've known Brian for about five years. We both started at AURN the same summer, both working with my dad and learning the ropes of the radio biz. Since then, I've jumped around in a number of broadcasting jobs, and Brian has moved up in the station and become good friends with my dad (even stopping by the house to play NFL 2KWhatever on Xbox). So now we're pretty much family.

Hence my excitement when Brian told me he'd be taking a little souvenir from Vegas back home to Pittsburgh -- he'd won NABJ's Award for Best Radio Feature this past week at the annual convention for his piece on the late Buck O'Neil. I jumped. I yelped. I gave him a high-five. And then I thought, "Dang. I wanna be like B."

There's a different kind of inspiration when a friend is recognized for the work they do. Sure, it was great when Robin Givhan pulled the Pulitzer, but seeing an award presented to a colleague (not to mention a guy who plays video games with your pops) makes attaining such a goal seem all the more real.

Last year's convention inspired me to strive to find my place as a journalist of color in the newsroom. This year -- between congratulating B for an award, seeing my NPR favorites and chatting with a colleague about the differences between public and commercial radio -- I've been re-inspired to strive for excellence in my medium. And while I love my inky friends (*wink*), I realize I need to stay connected with my fellow audiophiles. They're few and far between, but when I see them, I'm encouraged, and more appreciative that I'm finally in a position to what I've been striving for since I was 16.

So now, all I can think about (aside from the fun of the parties in Vegas) is how to get to that level. What makes a good feature? How you make an impact in 40 seconds with nothing but sound? And what makes award-winning radio?

I plan on spending the next year finding out. I've even started a listserv in the process. And eventually, I'll get to the point where B is giving me a high-five, and saying congratulations.

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Posted by Veronica Marché at 10:32 PM | link

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