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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Top CBS Exec Joins Staff

    ‘Passion is one of the things you will need to get into this field,’ said former senior CBS news executive Marcy McGinnis at the ‘My Life as a Famous Journalist’ event on September 27th. McGinnis is a new staff member at the Stony Brook School of journalism. She has given a detailed account of her life and work experiences, and advice for future journalists. McGinnis will build the broadcast journalism course in the new journalism school and hopes to be an important contributor. With staff like McGinnis, Stony Brook University hopes to become one of the most competitive journalism schools in the nation.

    McGinnis started at CBS as a secretary, while in college. In 1971, at 21 years of age, she covered her first CBS news story: the launch of Apollo 14 at the Kennedy Space Center. She continued to describe some of her experiences in journalism, from the election of a new pope at Saint Peter’s Square to the Berlin Wall coming down with Gorbachev.

    ‘I went for, I picked, every job opening. I didn’t wait for anyone to promote me,’ said McGinnis of her 35 years at CBS. She moved steadily up the corporate ladder to eventually build the backbone of CBS’s news gathering operation in London and Europe as Bureau Chief. It was there that she covered the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

    One of the hardest stories McGinnis had to cover was the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Coworkers at CBS had family and friends that were killed that day, and McGinnis called it ‘very personal.’ McGinnis’s last big story was her coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

    After the Dan Rather scandal, the newly elected president of CBS opted for a new deputy, ending McGinnis’ career with the network. ‘It’s just the way the ball bounces,’ said McGinnis. ‘If it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be here.’

    Now at Stony Brook, McGinnis will be leading journalism students at a practical and moral level. ‘What you are writing and what you are producing in television is what people will believe,’ said McGinnis. ‘There is so much out there and you picked a job career that’s exciting, fun and interesting.’

    After her story, McGinnis opened the floor to the students. Questions ranged from how a journalist can attain a normal family life to questions regarding her stance on the Iraqi war. Before she left, McGinnis said, ‘Try to be the best at whatever you do, to be humble and understand there are people ahead of you and behind you; never loose sight of that.’ This was the first of the ‘My Life As’hellip;’ series, which plans on bringing top journalists to SBU for lectures.

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