Small markets, big opportunities

Most new journalism grads start their careers in small market newsrooms.  For many, it’s a first stop on the way up the ladder.  But others may find, as Rhonda McBride did, that small markets offer big opportunities.

As my first boss put it, ‘Every day will be a surprise. It may not be a surprise you’ll like. But it’ll be a surprise.’

McBride,  a reporter at KTUU-TV in Anchorage, spent almost 10 years as news and public affairs director at KYUK-AM/TV in Bethel, Alaska, a community so small that Nielsen‘s “market universe” doesn’t even count it.  That was just fine with McBride.

Many young TV reporters start out wanting to be an anchor in a big market, chasing the big stories. But in so many ways, the stories are bigger in small communities. One Associated Press reporter in Alaska once told me, there are no dull towns, just dull reporters.

McBride wrote about her experiences at the request of Lynn Adrine, who teaches in Syracuse University’s Washington journalism program.  Her inspiring essay, now posted at NewsLab, is well worth reading.