Lisa Myers, of NBC News, Advises Students to be Persistent
NBC News Correspondent Lisa Myers, guest speaker for the 2008 Frank L. Marcon Lecture on Monday, April 21, advised students to be persistent, tenacious and to think on their feet.
During her visit to DeSales, Myers participated in a special student discussion session with more than 30 students from all classes and majors in the afternoon in the White Pavilion of the DeSales University Center. In the evening, Myers delivered the annual Marcon Lecture in Billera Hall to an audience of about 600 people, including faculty, staff and students from the University and also members of the general public.
Myers began the special hour-long student session by praising DeSales. She noted that although relatively young, the university is respected for its highly qualified faculty, committed students and emphasis on values.
A hard-news reporter who joined NBC in 1981, Myers continued with a very enlightening and worthwhile exchange with students, during which she drew from her professional and personal experiences to answer a variety of questions and offer career advice.
Myers, highly regarded as an investigative journalist, was asked about how she is able to address the more serious stories, as compared to ones that focus on entertainment. Myers stated that there always will be the Britney Spears type stories, but advised that it is important to strive for a balance between values and entertainment.
When asked to define "news," Myers responded, "News is whatever is interesting to you and to the audience."
Myers added, "With the advent of the 24-hour news channel, there is a lot of air time to fill. You must appeal to the reality of the audience. Audiences have a tremendous appetite for news and you must account for their tastes."
More than one question directed at Myers focused on how to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. Myers said that a strong liberal arts education is key and advised students to learn their options, pay attention to details, take advantage of opportunities and "think quick on your feet."
Also, when asked to describe the necessary characteristics for anyone pursuing a career in journalism, Myers stated, "You have to be persistent, tenacious and dogged about your questions and issues."
In addressing a student's question on the importance of the blogosphere and how it has driven much of what has happened in the current political campaign, Myers stated that blogs will not replace regular news.
"Blogs drive coverage, however they won't drive news," said Myers. "Blogs are the medium of technology that news networks won't put out."
According to Myers, there is a need for a mix, but news needs context and must provide an explanation. She believes blogs will not replace TV news, which in turn, will not replace the newspaper.
"News needs context and newspapers provide details," said Myers. "You can't do that on TV because people will turn the station."
When asked about her most memorable story, Myers cited the story that revealed that the brutal murder of an Army private at Ft. Campbell, Ky., was an anti-gay hate crime.
Myers, who received an Emmy nomination for her work on the series of reports, said it was very meaningful to her because she saw it as an opportunity to "Shine the light on something."
That evening in Billera Hall, after welcome remarks from Father Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, University president, and introduction by Anne Lewis, assistant professor of performing and fine arts at DeSales, Myers delivered the 25th Annual Frank L. Marcon Lecture.
During the public lecture, Myers described Washington as "a toxic town."
"Washington is broken," said Myers. "It suffers from severe partisanship."
Myers stated that there is a need for vigilant, resourceful reporters. She told students their career will evolve and to be smart, flexible and ready for opportunity.
According to Myers, the next president faces very difficult challenges, including health care, a struggling economy, Iraq, Iran, and the global war on terror.
Myers tried to stay impartial as she shared what she considered to be the strengths and weaknesses of the Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls. She credited Barack Obama for his tenacity, Hillary Clinton for being well versed on issues and John McCain for being relentless. Over all, stated Myers, people tend to vote for someone they like, trust and feel comfortable with, more than ideology.
The Marcon Lecture series is named in memory of Frank L. Marcon, a prominent area businessman who served as a DeSales University trustee from 1966, until his death in 1982. Previous Marcon lecturers have included Charlie Rose, Tim Russert, Mark Shields, Paul Gigot, Helen Thomas, Bob Arnot, Peggy Noonan, Tucker Carlson, William Kristol, Frank Deford, and Larry Kane.
Press Release: Lisa Myers, of NBC News, Advises Students to be Persistent | Posted on: 4/30/2008
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu