During my year in graduate school for journalism in Chicago, the print and television sections were like the Jets and the Sharks.
The newspaper students were a bit brainier but more reclusive. My TV colleagues were charismatic and aggressive but, as a whole, not as well read or attentive to detail.
On Fridays after class, the printies finished their drinks at the bar at a reasonable hour and went home at a responsible time. The broadcast folks stayed longer into the night to debate politics and contemplate big dreams, and strolled into classes late the next morning.
The print folks always seemed prepared for in-class debates about media ethics, but the broadcast students often scored stronger points with their confident yet succinct arguments.
TV folks called newspaper reporters "print dinosaurs"; The printies derided us as "Ron Burgundy wanna-bees."
Each side had some fair points to make.
The rivalry was healthy and the competition was fun, but above all, I took away the importance of both mediums in a rapid 24-hour news cycle. As a professor told me once, no one remembers reading about September 11th or an election night. But you probably shouldn't watch TV if you're looking for an in-depth piece on stem cell research or the intricacies of campaign finance reform.
For the past five years at Ky3, I've tried to tap all mediums -- print, video, audio -- to bring informative, fast-breaking, thought-provoking political news to the Ozarks and beyond. So many people have been so generous with their time, knowledge and most importantly their "scoops" about Missouri politics.
In a few weeks, I'll take everything the Show-Me state "showed me" to a new job as a national politics reporter at POLITICO in Washington, D.C.
This decision was not as easy as it might sound. Leaving TV for a print/online media job did leave me with questions. "How will I survive without the little old ladies at the check-out counter at Wal-Mart not recognizing me?"
Yes, TV serves as an ego boost. I'd be less than candid, shall we say "political", to claim otherwise. (Yes, I'll probably always be a TV guy in my heart, but hopefully one who can hold his own writing once in awhile;)
But a shot at covering national politics is an offer I couldn't refuse.
There are so many people I need to thank, but most of them I can't name here, because they gave me treasure troves of information, tips and guidance "off the record" each day or over drinks at night. (Remember I am a TV guy at heart) You know who you are.
And to (some of) the critics, thanks for keeping tabs and keeping me honest. There will be more occasions to do so.
To be clear, I'll still be covering Missouri politics, just at a different venue, and in addition to other 2010 hotspots. But you can bet our 2010 U.S. Senate race and top U.S. House contests will get my fair share of attention in my new assignment.
I'll finish my tenure at Ky3 on December 29th.
As for my beloved KY3 Political Notebook, details are still hazy for its future. (I hope they become clearer in the weeks ahead.)
But I'll be reporting and blogging through the end of the year, so if you're out there and got something -- call me with a going away scoop!