It must be fate that my last post was on the topic of inspiration. A true inspiration to journalists and people across the world was lost on November 9th, 2006. Ed Bradley, a man whose values and determination supersceded the times, died of complications from lukemia at the age of 65.
In days where there were little or no black people on the radio or in the news, Ed Bradley, a man who had core values and utter respect for everyone, stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. Although he started out as a school teacher, Ed’s passion was for broadcast journalism. Throughout his life he was a CBS and 60 Minutes news correspondant and was among the first african american to make a name for himself in television network.
The winner of 19 Emmy Awards, Bradley showed the world what he could do, whether it be with his deep interviews or his quick improvisation. He knew that if he put himself into his stories, it would be more rewarding in the end, because he would take something from it.
In reading about Ed Bradley’s life, I could not help but be inspired. A few things that I have learned and that all aspiring journalists should hold true are these:
-Find role models. Look for people who are doing what you would like to do, and aspire to be like them.
-Take initiative and be assertive. No one got anywhere in life by sitting back and letting opportunities pass by. As a former teacher once said, “Get off your ass and knock on doors!”
-Be open to new possibilities. A closed minded person is an ignorant one. The world is a big place with many different people, places and things. Don’t get trapped, but rather, open up.
-Improvise on a situation. When things aren’t going your way, use your creativity and imagination to make it better. Don’t think that you’ve been defeated, rather, look at it as a sign for you to use your skills.
-Know people. Know and understand what is going on in the world and in places around you. Keep your eyes and ears open.
In an interview, Bradley said, “A person should be a journalist if it’s something that lights their fire.” If you truely love and are inspired by what you do, it will always be better and more rewarding.
So I’d like to take this time to remember a true legend, Ed Bradley, who helped change the face of journalism forever. In the words of Ed Bradley, “everyone has an inner compass,” …so all you have to do is follow it.