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Food for Thought

Victoria Esteve
Staff Writer

“Steady hours are very rare in the media business,” said Meredith Daniels, a freelance writer and news producer at Newsday. Daniels was the guest speaker on October 4 at the Media Arts Department’s Food for Thought lecture. Daniels was there to share her insight into the world of media. “It is 24 hour news industry…you may have to work every shift there is and be ok with that.” The lecture was held in Humanities Hall room 027 during Common Hour.

A graduate from Boston University, Daniels always loved writing, but she also dabbled in radio. When she got laid off from a radio job she had, she fell back into freelancing. When that was not ‘paying the bills’, her friend told her about an opening at Newsday for its website. “This is when multimedia started to evolve. They said ‘okay Meredith, why don’t you join the market’?” said Daniels. “But I didn’t know how to edit or shoot video.”

She was then able to start doing “man-on-the-street” pieces where she was able to really use her personality. After a few years she was promoted to her current position and she has been with Newsday for the past 10 years.

As one of the news producers for news¬, her job entails coming up with original ideas and prepping reporters for live shots. “If there is something that is not being covered nationally… we get it up on the web¬site,” said Daniels. “[It is] like seeing a story itself and seeing smaller stories and different angles.” A news producer takes all the elements of a newscast and compiles them into a cohesive show.

During the question and answer portion of the lecture, students were able to ask about certain topics she touched upon.

One student asked Daniels where she finds her inspiration.

“A paycheck and a hungry child,” she jokingly answered. “No, but seriously, I like my work. I truly do…I like being behind the news before it breaks.”

Daniels ended the lecture with some words of advice for the media students that attended: “If you truly believe you want to do this for a living, you have to show what makes you better than the next person…you can’t be lazy, because you should be busy setting yourself apart from the next person.”

Daniels was the first guest speaker in the Food for Thought series this semester. The pro-gram was launched in 2010 and has included Pulitzer Prize winner and LIU graduate Josh Margolin, Stephanie Schilling of Lifetime Television, Tina Susman from the L.A. Times, Alan Clary from MTV, and Rukelt Dalberis of Fox News.The next Food for Thought lecture will be held on November 8 at 12:30 p.m. in Humanities Room 027, and will feature guest speaker Bill Eichenberger, a longtime sports reporter for Newsday and the Wall Street Journal.

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