Recruiting The Best: You Gotta Have High Standards

For too long journalism has not had high enough standards. From the pros allowing Jason Blair or Stephen Glass to get by on personality, and not having enough focus on the web, to colleges not requiring enough math, business and technology classes for j-majors, down to high school programs not competing hard enough for the top talent. It has to stop.

I’ve decided that I’m not gonna take it anymore. I’ve seen my program sabotaged too many times by one bad apple. If you want to be the best, you have to work with the best. The pros know it. We can’t let a little competition keep us from the kids that really want to be in our program.

We also can’t be too focused on retention. This has been a big problem of mine. It is hard not to want to keep good kids for 3-4 years. But if you get a good kid, light them on fire with a passion right now! You may not have them next semester or next year. Be excited and push them to work as hard as their ability and training will allow – right now.

Last year, we moved our TV show from once every 2 weeks to every week. We really improve the quantity of segments in our broadcast. This year, I have focused on quality. If a segment is not good enough, then it does not air. The producer can redo it or they can take a grade on it as is – but it will not air.

It has raised the quality of our broadcast and increased viewership. Now we have to be more aggressive when we recruit. We have to identify and then capture the best, most motivated and brightest kids who want to learn how to do a great TV program. I know it can be done – and done well.

Mr. C

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