Thursday, March 18, 2010

I knew them when

One of the pleasures of being a journalist is following the fates and fortunes of the elected officials you get to know.
My former 12 News colleague Todd Baer had covered the Texas statehouse, and would delight us with his insights about W.
Since we were in Brooklyn Park many of my co-workers knew Jesse Ventura back when he was Mayor, and had some tales to tell.

I met Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek when he was a fairly laid back guy from Maple Grove running for state representative. He would go on to a controversial career as the Minnesota Director of Public Safety, eventually resigning. Sometimes it's hard to match the person you met with the public figure they become.

I knew Amy Klobuchar a bit better. When she was Hennepin County District Attorney she was involved in many stories I covered. At times she felt like a peer, we owned some of the same suits and would sometimes have a moment for small talk. Now she is a United States Senator.

And here on the big stage of New York State, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy appears to be poised for a run for Governor.

When I worked at WLNY he was a frequent interview subject. Whenever there was a pause in the action I would ask, are you going to run? It kind of became a little joke, I would ask every time I saw him, and he never had an answer.

Covering politics can be both exciting and dull, depending on the day and the story. But it gets a little more interesting when you see someone you know step onto a larger stage.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Darcy's determination

It's a very sad day for anyone who has been part of the Minnesota journalism community. Darcy Pohland died in her sleep last night at the age of 48. Darcy is well known as a sharp journalist, passionate sports fan, and the fact that she did all that in wheelchair.

I certainly was not a close friend, but for my last few months in the Twin Cities we would start many of our days together. Often we would be the first two reporters at the Hennepin County Court pouring over criminal complaints in the "media basket" looking for stories.

Darcy really befriended me, mostly because of parking. At the time reporters were allowed to park, I believe on the sidewalk, near the court, and since we were the first two each day, she needed me to not box her in, so she could get her wheelchair in and out of her van.

I'm not much of a morning person, so I remember noticing all the extra time and effort she had to take just to do our daily beat check. I also remember covering a construction collapse in burgeoning Maple Grove and admiring how even in a bumpy, lumpy, muddy field somehow she managed to maneuver just fine.

Just my little memory of a woman who is now one of the great legends of Minnesota broadcasting.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Symbols

This NFL season has been loaded with symbols for me.

It was tough to see my beloved Green Bay Packers knocked out of the playoffs, and see the Favred-up Vikes move forward. However, the complicated emotions only start there.
The rest of the games have provided a series of symbols.

I admit I don't completely hate the Vikings. I lived in the Twin Cities for 7 years, and I remember the heartbreaking loss to Atlanta in 1999.

Also, as I wrote earlier this year, I met Deanna Favre several times when I was a news anchor in Green Bay and she was exceptionally helpful to me. The last time I saw her, we were both shopping in Kopp's supermarket and she was going though chemotherapy for her breast cancer. She looked so ill I did not want to disturb her, so it makes me happy to see her healthy again. For that alone, I could have cheered for the Vikings for one day.

But despite my conflicted feelings about the Vikes, It was hard not to be happy for the Saints.

I was brought to tears by coach Sean Payton's statement,“This stadium used to have holes in it and be wet. Not anymore. This is for the city of New Orleans."

My husband Ethan turned to me and said, "I hope they win."

As for their opponent...sigh.
First let me say, I have visited Indianapolis 4 times and I love it. It has a special energy, and wonderful people.

That being said, I don't like the Colts.

I am 43 years old and I grew up in Maryland. The Colt's crushing departure from Baltimore looms in my imagination, the way only a childhood memory can. Yes, Baltimore now has the Ravens, and everyone has moved on, but the Colts will always symbolize disloyalty to me. They were a much loved team, and their exit was shocking.

So today I will root for the Saints, it feels like their year. I wish the city a safe and joyful celebration.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Life goes on

For me working in local news always meant developing a fierce attachment to a community and it's stories. I remember driving though Calumet County and looking at all the antennas on farm houses and imagining that my newscast might be on sometime.
It's always a little bittersweet, that "your" stories will continue to develop without you.
Often the new developments mean the producer might just crank up your old file tape. Minnesota now has the suburban rail line that was just being designed when I worked there.
On Long Island, the Marcelo Lucero case has had several guilty pleas. Probably a good thing since the criminal complaints in that case were exceptionally complex.
The Taconic crash also still produces headlines.
The video from one story I covered, the death of U.S. Marine Ryan Jerabek, even ended up in a documentary, that was part of the Tribeca Film Festival.
But in the end you have to let your "news babies" grow up without you. Most stories fade from view, some have dramatic twists.
When I left Wisconsin, Steven Avery was free after being wrongly jailed for rape. In the end he would be found guilty of a murder in an unconnected case.
Like doctors, reporters have to learn to disconnect their emotions. But I can't help but wonder for example how Marcelo's brother and mother are doing.
Not every reporter feels this way, some are happy to say good-bye to a market and move on to a new town without looking back. But for me a little part of my heart will always live in Minnsota, Wisconsin, Maine, and Long Island.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do you know where you're going to?

Sorry for so much "radio silence" here in blogville. It's been an interesting,challenging,and exciting time in my life. I miss tv news and my viewers so much, but I am getting to try new things and learn.
Here is my bio from the SPJ website. It's always so tough to write these!

Just in time to cover the millennium, Suzanne Goldkang began her journalism career in the Twin Cities at Northwest Community Television's Cable 12 where she was an anchor and reporter for three and a half years.

She then crossed the Mississippi and headed to Wisconsin as morning anchor at WGBA-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Next stop was Bangor, Maine where she was an anchor at WVII and WFVX,

finally the NYU grad returned to the Big Apple as a reporter and anchor at WLNY.

In 2000 she received a Minnesota Emmy Award for a news special comparing the experiences of different generations of veterans.

Suzanne's life was changed at RTNDA's 2006 conference in Las Vegas when she met Ethan Harp, a reporter from San Francisco.

The couple was married 2 years later, just hours before the start of the 2008 convention.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

he's got the whole world in his hands

So with a few days between gigs, I decided to see what I could accomplish as a freelancer at the Clinton Global Initiative. On the one hand there are countless small and large organizations doing inspiring things around the world. Give FPOTUS Bill Clinton credit for shining some light on the world of philanthropy and making doing good "cool".
On the other hand it's been a puzzling place to do journalism. Questions from reporters at panels are forbidden, media has to be "escorted" at all times, there are long waiting lists to attend any of the sessions so you can hear about all that good work.
One place that is not off limits is the bar at the Sheraton. While you won't meet all the celebrities here or get to meet FPOTUS Bill, you do encounter people who are promoting green technology, helping women in Africa, developing Northern Ireland, and working on many other good projects.
The CGI seems to view the media as a necessary evil, let them in to get their Obama sound bite, their photo op of Matt Damon with Bill Clinton, then round them up and get them away from the people they are here to cover. It's too bad with so many compelling stories and so many journalists, the goal seems to be to keep us apart.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

picture this

National Ethics Committee and <span class=PCLI member Suzanne Goldklang a... on Twitpic" height="150" width="150">
PCLI's chapter award is a very nice honor, for which people other than myself worked very hard. It was nice to be in Indy to see Pres. John O'Connell accept the recognition.
It was a good convention, I was glad to be able to support my old friend Dave Aeikens, the outgoing president, and hear from new president Kevin Smith.
Kevin hopes to be a leader for SPJ members and the entire industry. I found his comments encouraging, motivating, and empowering. I also attended a energetic meeting of the national ethics comittee, and I look forward to contributing to their work.
Another highlight was meeting some of the nation's best local investigative journalists, and getting inspired by what they are accomplishing.
Finally, I was able to spend some time with my role model, KARE-11 reporter extraordinaire Boyd Huppert who was in town to pick up an award.
Just seeing him reminded me about the things I love about tv news, and the type of work still possible.
I know the link about is a little sloppy, I will work on cleaning it up after I get some rest!