President of MSNBC visits University

By Christine Kim

President of MSNBC Rick Kaplan is to visit the University to work with journalism students from Monday until Wednesday.

He will specifically work with the Television Journalism II class with their newsbreak projects that will air on UI7. He also will speak at Dean of the College of Communications Ron Yates’ Reporting I lecture, focusing on what’s next for cable and network news and how MSNBC is covering news in Iraq. Kaplan will also hold one-on-one discussions with graduate students and seniors in broadcasting.

“He manages to contact lots of students by guest lecturing or talking with other classes,” Yates said. “He’s one of the most creative people in the broadcast news, and we feel very fortunate to have this kind of relationship with him, and more than anything else, a great opportunity for our students.”

Throughout his career, Kaplan held many high-level positions at ABC News and the ABC Television Network, and he served as president of CNN-US at CNN. Among his many other contributions and achievements, Kaplan taught a series of special journalism classes since 1993 at the University’s College of Communications and has an official title at the University as an adjunct professor.

Since the mid-’90s, Kaplan comes to the University once or twice a year to work with students, providing them with knowledge, opportunities and internships.

“It was his idea to do this, and we’re glad that he does,” said Lynn Holley, academic programs coordinator of the College of Communications. “It benefits (the students) immensely. They get to hear from a man who is successful in every aspect of his career, and it’s best to hear from someone successful because they have the key to be successful and the motivation he can pass to students.”

Last summer, 17 students interned at MSNBC with the help and opportunity from Kaplan. Nick Janes, junior in Communications, is majoring in broadcast journalism and discovered the internship opportunity through a friend, which led to the experience of working at MSNBC. He is also in the Television Journalism II class where he will have the chance to work with Kaplan.

“I think it’s one of the benefits of the University’s program to have an important journalism figure,” Janes said. “He’s already provided a wonderful opportunity with the MSNBC internship. It’s just wonderful to make his acquaintance, and he has a lot to teach and a lot to say, and it’s good to learn from someone like him.”

At a luncheon on Monday afternoon, called ‘The Conversation with Rick Kaplan, the Future of Television News,’ prominent members of University faculty and members of journalism and other areas such as political science and speech communication will meet with Kaplan. Among them will be students who took the internship opportunity at MSNBC during the past summer.

“He knows what it takes to make it to the broadcast business and that’s something that (students) aren’t just going to get anywhere,” Holley said. “What he does for them and what they learn from him, they can’t get anywhere else.”