Buffalo broadcasters visit local high school

Danny Spewak (WGRZ), Tom Martin (WIVB) and Carl Lam (WGRZ) visited West Seneca West Senior High School’s TV studio on Wednesday, March 29, for an informal meet-and-greet with TV and media students through the Buffalo Broadcasters Association’s Peer 2 Peer Speakers Tour. The design of the program is to connect students with people who aren’t much older than them to speak about the realities of the media field.

“They’re the upcoming generation of broadcasters,” Lam said. “To share the knowledge of what they need to do, what they should do and what it’s like to be a journalist is something they sometimes don’t have access to.”

The trio swapped stories about their on-camera and interview adventures with the students. “Live TV is always going to go crazy,” Spewak said with a laugh.

The broadcasters also discussed networking, using multiple sources and verifying stories, and the job’s lifestyle. They also encouraged students to take internships and learn as much as they can.

“We have to write, shoot, edit … everything,” Martin shared. “You never know what to expect.”

“It’s good you’re getting that now and have cameras available to you here,” added Lam, who visited the school’s morning show as well.

The juniors and seniors had an opportunity to ask questions such as what to expect in college or on a job search and what jobs are available in broadcasting. At the end of the presentation, each presenter gave the students one last bit of advice.

“Go watch and read as many stories as you can. Do you like it? Do you not like it? Figure out why,” Martin said. “Work your tail off and don’t give up.”

“Do as many different things as possible,” Spewak added.

Lam said he was very happy with the interest found in the TV studio at West. “At least a third said they watched local news and a good chunk of them had an interest in broadcasting. That doesn’t happen anymore. That’s a rare thing to see so that’s reaffirming to us that the upcoming generation sees value in what we do.”

He also hopes that through their program they make an impact, even if it’s on one student. “If we help one person on their mission to become a broadcaster in radio or television then we’ve done our job,” Lam said. “That’s what this is all about, helping students realize what’s out there.”

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