“I might want to be a journalist when I grow up,” my oldest daughter Lorna beamed from the back seat as she was recalling what it was like shadowing her father ABC-7 news reporter John Garcia for the day. Estimates show that more than 37 million youth and adults participate at over 3.5 million workplaces each year on Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day.
Now that Lorna is nine, (recommended ages are 8-18), she and her father participated for the first time. She got to really see what her father does all day, and not just the end result which many of us see on the 5, 6 or 10PM news. Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day has inspired a future generation of boys and girls by bringing them into the workplace and seeing the choices they have while exploring various careers.
Many times John isn’t sure what he will be covering much of it depends on breaking news, but John and his management planned ahead making sure the story would be suitable for Lorna to tag-a-long. “My dad gets to read a lot,” said Lorna. “He was looking through the newspaper in the morning, and when we got to the office he can suggest a story in a meeting, but if it isn’t picked then he gets assigned something.”
Lorna’s day started with meeting the management. She shook hands with President and General Manager John Idler and News Director Jennifer Graves. Her father then gave her the grand tour of the newsroom, his office and a stop in the studio to watch the 11AM cut-in. “I got to sit at the anchor desk and read,” she explained, recounting her experience learning some anchoring tips from none other than Linda Yu. Tracy Butler made Lorna feel at home and even created ‘Lorna’s forecast’ and let her try forecasting from the green wall (believe me, I used to work in tv and it’s not as easy as Tracy makes it look!).
After Lorna and John set up a story making phone calls and arranging the interviews they enjoyed lunch at the Thompson Center. Lorna then grabbed one of her father’s reporters notebooks and they headed with the crew to Morgan Park High School, where they interviewed girls on the track team about having to choose between the state track meet and prom. “I took three pages of notes, and I was listening to what they were saying and it was so fun,” said Lorna.
After shooting some video and wrapping up, they headed back to the station where they began to put the story together. “Lorna helped log tape and she came into the edit bay as we did the voiceover,” shared John, who was also able to have Lorna sit in the edit bay and watch as the editor did his magic. “She told me several times what a great day it was.” John was equally as proud of her and adds that Lorna was a little shy at first. But that she soon warmed up and enjoyed watching the story her play from the control room. “Everyone took great interest in her and making her feel welcome and involved,” she observed.
“They said if I really worked at ABC, I would have made about $60 that day,” Lorna said enthusiastically, adding, “And that’s a lot of money!” Lorna is interested in a variety of subjects and asks a million questions so who knows? Maybe she’ll be the next Katie Couric or Robin Meade?
If you didn’t get a chance to take your daughter or son to work, consider it. And don’t forget to mark your calendar. It’s on Thursday, April 23, 2015.