Our country is filled with all types of challenges. The economy is certainly one of them. Unemployment in North Carolina is near a record high. Education and busing are big issues. A lot of people have some real concerns about the future.
One word you don't hear a lot these days is "pride." I'd like to spend a moment of your time to tell you that I have a LOT of pride in the men and women of WRAL. So why am I writing about this now? There are a few specific things that have occurred recently that I'd like to share with you.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending an awards ceremony (along with Jim Goodmon, President and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company; John Clark, General Manager of WRAL.com; John Conway, Creative Services Director of WRAL.com; and Jodi Glusco, Managing Editor of WRAL.com) in New York City. This was no ordinary ceremony. This event celebrated the best of the best within journalism. The Radio Television Digital News Association awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award to WRAL.com as the best local TV website in the country! There were plenty of speeches that night about the good works of numerous news organizations around the country. Given the network and local station presence in attendance, WRAL.com is in very good company with those who practice at the highest levels of their craft.
Fast forward to this week. I made the decision that WRAL-TV should participate in the inaugural program of Enable America's Mentoring Program. This program promotes career development for people with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, on sight job shadowing, and training opportunities. The decision to participate was an easy one to make. It was easy because it was the right thing to do. We had a terrific mentee from NC State University. He spent time in our Creative Services Department with Steve Elizondo and in our News Department. One of the mentors (Sally Smith) for this student even came in on her day off because of how important she thought this was. Now THAT's dedication for doing the right thing!
The other note of pride is with our coverage of the Easley Hearing. We were live with streaming of the hearing on WRAL.com, along with being live on 50.3 and aired all of former Governor Easley's testimony on WRAL-TV. The day of the former Governor's testimony we aired a half hour special that evening. The special gave context to the testimony. The live coverage was headed by David Crabtree along with our reporters and a panel of experts.
One viewer summed up our coverage this way: "I want to thank WRAL for providing the live telecast online of the Board of Elections investigation. Great stuff! This is what sets WRAL apart from all the other news stations statewide."
These are simply three different instances on why pride comes through loud and clear with what our Team does and how it goes about doing it.
I will end not with my words, but words from another viewer who wrote to me today.
"I just wanted to let you know how great your station is and how fortunate I feel to have WRAL as my home news station."
Now THAT's PRIDE!