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On Making a Meaningful Career in Today's World

Every morning, seven days a week, I get up at an absurdly early hour, put on a pot of coffee and begin to write. I have been doing this for more than 40 years. It's part of my DNA, and I'd do it whether I was paid or not.

Fortunately, for most of my working life, I have been paid well for writing. That changed in 2008. The bottom fell out for those of us who pursue creative enterprises. On the first sign of trouble, businesses fire the writers. They see us as a frivolous expense.

For many of these businesses, good writing—a "good story, well told," we like to say—is all they have to sell. But they don't understand that and—to be honest—most are not worth saving anyway. It has always been and probably always will be that way.

One of the interesting things about getting older and having survived as a freelancer is that younger people ask for advice. In these continuing tough economic times, I've gotten many more inquiries than usual from college-age students anticipating careers in film, television, journalism and writing.

Arun Chaudhary, the White House Videographer


WASHINGTON — Arun Chaudhary is the White House's ultimate fly on the wall.

Perpetually clad in New Balance sneakers and suits that are just slightly askew, he dashes in and out of meetings, from East Room news conferences to the Oval Office and back again, out through the South Portico and into the White House vegetable garden — all while scrambling to blend into the background and record nearly every moment with his video camera.

One recent Tuesday, he trained his lens on President Obama, who was admiring the paintings on the wall of the Green Room as he waited to speak at a community college summit meeting.

"Arun's a very cool guy, though I have to tell him to get a haircut every once in a while," Mr. Obama quipped, nodding over at Mr. Chaudhary before walking out to the stage.

Cronkite School announces NBC partnership

ImageA new partnership with NBC News will provide students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with professional internship opportunities at top network properties in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta and Burbank, Calif.

Up to four Arizona State University students will be selected for the NBC internships each semester, beginning this fall.

Students will be assigned to NBC's top programs, including "NBC Nightly News" with Brian Williams, "Today" and "Dateline NBC." They will assist in the research and production of news stories, and have the opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the network's top journalists.

Q&A with Travis Fox, video journalist for

ImageEmmy-nominated video journalist explains what works on the Web and what doesn't and where he thinks the medium is headed

Shortly after Travis Fox joined the Washington Post in 1999 as a photo editor, he picked up a video camera that was sitting in the newsroom and slowly began producing a few pieces for the Web. Not that anyone was watching these videos--not even the Website's editors. The joke in the newsroom at the time, says Fox, was that he didn't want the executive editor to watch the videos because the pieces would invariably crash his computer and he worried that might dampen the editor's laissez-faire attitude.

"It was a great place to learn and to let my own style come to forefront," says Fox. "I didn't have deadline pressure, I didn't have editorial pressure, I didn't have many viewers."  How times have changed.