Former CNN senior executive producer brings experience and insight to Skyline students

     Audiences should be looking into more than one source when getting news, the more resources people have, the more knowledgeable they will become on various issues according to a former CNN Senior Executive Producer.
     Speaking to a crowd of 40-plus students for an hour on April 29, Charlie Caudill stressed that people need to question the news they hear from the media, whether it is from a newspaper, TV, or the Internet.     “Force yourself to read different sources,” Caudill said. “You need balance.”
     Caudill explained that by looking at as many resources as possible, people will then be able to get some truth as to what a story really is. This is to alleviate one-sided stories.
     “Journalism is not fast and true; it’s not absolute,” Caudill said informing the audience. He said that believing everything a person hears or reads only hinders their judgment.
     Gathering an adequate amount of information wasn’t the only topic that Caudill touched on. He went on to explain the different types of journalism from “lapdog” journalism-the government telling journalist what to report on, no questions asked- to “photo op” journalism-keeping journalist 100-yards away from any president, preventing them to ask questions and only allowing photographers to “tell” the story. Caudill described how journalism has made a full circle. Each style has impacted the way journalism is done today.
     Without each of these stepping-stones, journalism would not be where it is now- reporters asking questions of the government, challenging officials and their authority.
     Preceding the forum, Caudill stayed to talk with students for over an hour answering questions. He offered stories to them ranging from how he received his first job as a news anchor for ABC news in Dayton, Ohio to becoming a high ranking producer at CNN.
     Caudill told students that his first job was the hardest job he ever had to get. When he bargained with the producer of ABC news to give him a chance to become an anchor, he received what he called the most boring story anyone could be assigned. He decided that he had to be different and make himself stand out amongst his competitors. By doing so he was able to receive a spot on the nightly news.
     Caudill offered students advice on how to obtain a job. Three key-factors that he supplied for them were: to do an internship, get involved in organizations, and to volunteer their time. He feels all this will put a person above their competition.
     “Be different,” Caudill said. “Separate yourself from others.” He said it is important for students to do this because it shows that they have a real interest in their career, which attracts future employers’ attention.
     He encouraged students to utilize any resources available to get into the door of their careers.
     “Don’t be ashamed of how you get your first job” Caudill said. “It isn’t a shameful thing when you know someone.”