It was a dark and stormy night outside, but festive and warm inside for the Fresno NATAS mixer and Sidlow/Stephens book signing Saturday, Dec. 10. It doesn’t often rain in Fresno, but it really came down that night. Nonetheless, colleagues from every Fresno TV station, the local non-profit Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC), and students and professors from Fresno State gathered inside the Fresno State TV studio/classroom. The place was decked out for the holidays right before finals. It added a feeling of rejoicing as the last time we had a Fresno mixer was in November 2019, right before you know what happened that kept us all cloistered away. The downpour, holiday music, and laughter had a cleansing effect on the spirit of those there.
This was also an opportunity for NATAS to celebrate the accomplishment of two Silver Circle inductees, Faith Sidlow (Class of 2012) and Kim Stephens (Class of 2014). Sidlow, the chair of Fresno State’s Media, Communications, and Journalism Department, is back serving on the Board of Governors. Stephens served for 10 years and is in her 20th year as a news anchor for the FOX26 KMPH five-hour morning news show Great Day. They are both professors at Fresno State and recently published a textbook, Broadcast News in the Digital Age: A guide to Anchoring, Producing, and Performing Online and on TV.
The book is a practical, hands-on guide to the modern TV newsroom. The authors pulled from their 60+ years of industry experience giving students skills to excel in broadcast news from building a foundation, storytelling and writing, producing, live performance, and ethics and career progression. Sidlow and Stephens provide step-by-step instructions on how to efficiently multitask while staying true to journalist ethics. Each chapter includes clear learning objectives, review questions, and practical assignments. QR codes are integrated into the text allowing students to see and hear examples of stories from mentors in the business working in top TV news markets across the country. Many of the mentors quoted in the book are colleagues in the SF/NorCal Chapter of NATAS.
Unfortunately, Sidlow had to join the party through Zoom because of illness, but it gave the professors a chance to demonstrate how they taught during the pandemic and still do when illness sidelines a student (or professor) but the lessons keep going.
In a fun holiday tradition, everyone walked away with a raffle prize. We thank NATAS supporters including Fresno Ag Hardware, who donated the poinsettias, and Emmy® SF/NorCal, who donated the prizes, wine and champagne.