Scripps Career Pathways Interview Series: Tom McKee, '73, multimedia journalist at WCPO-TV Cincinnati, Ohio
Tom McKee graduated from Ohio University in 1973 with a bachelor of science in journalism. McKee received the 2013 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Coverage from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.
What do you do?
I am a multimedia journalist covering a wide variety of stories in greater Cincinnati area, but my love is government, politics, business and education.
How do you feel your Scripps College of Communication degree has helped you in your career?
There was no Scripps College when I was attending so I was in the College of Communication. The sequence was Radio/TV and there were only four of us in the program. Some of the best courses were Introduction to Radio News, Graphics & Communications and Mass Communication Law. The coursework, education and preparation were extraordinary. Now, there are opportunities all over campus, and it is all what you make of them.
How did your extracurricular activities or internship(s) help you with your career?
The main thing was WOUB, but cable was brand new at the time, and we didn't have all the radio stations. I did my best to get all the experience I could and mostly did radio in college. I was a part of the OU Marching Band, which took a lot of my time and forced me to have a more structured schedule.
What is the most important thing you believe has helped you secure your current position?
Attitude, curiosity and never giving up. Always wanting to make a story as thorough and good as it could be. Being professional and digging as hard as I can. We are representing viewers…we are their eyes and ears.
What is a typical day like for you in this position?
First I read at home, checking for possible stories. I read The Cincinnati Enquirer and New York Times. Then we have an editorial meeting at 10:15 a.m. Whatever I'm assigned to do…I go and do. I shoot, write and edit myself…some days there is a photographer with me. I could be on the news at 12 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. or 11 p.m., and I can always get called in on the weekends. There is no typical day because everyday you are in different geographies dealing with different people.
What is the single most important piece of advice you'd like to give to Scripps students?
Go into every situation that you come across as though you are going to succeed. A positive attitude is key. Having experience without the right attitude is not worth it.
- Katie Quinn, Scripps College social media intern