Naming the biggest story from their time at The Temple News was a tough task for the alumni who were part of the newspaper’s reunion weekend panel. There were just too many from which to pick.
For Ray Didinger, JOUR ’68, it was when Temple became a state-related institution. The voice of the Philadelphia Eagles threw in his biggest sports stories, too: the NIT tournament championship victory over Boston College and the baseball team’s trip to the collegiate World Series. For ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi, BTMM ’97, it was the O.J. Simpson trial and the opening of the Liacouras Center.
The panel, part of a weekend-long reunion that included tours of the newspaper office and a party in Mitten Hall on Saturday night, also included music writer Michael Christopher, JOUR ’01; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Kristen Graham, JOUR ’00; and Andrew Goldstein, JOUR ’00, supervising producer of VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live.
The advice the panelists offered to the students in the room was similar to what they hear from their professors each day, though it may have had more weight coming from a nationally-known anchor.
“Write every day,” Negandhi said. “The more you do it, the cleaner you’re going to be.”
He added that writing for television was “a breeze” after working at the newspaper.
Harnessing social media
Goldstein said Twitter has helped make him a better, more succinct writer, calling it “an amazing tool in my life and in my career.”
Graham, too, lauded Twitter.
“It’s made me a much better reporter,” she said.
It’s also how Goldstein landed a gig writing for Jimmy Fallon’s late night show. Goldstein created a blog called “Jokes for Jimmy” and tweeted out his creations. His jokes were seen by the right people and he ended up having 30 jokes in the show’s first season.
The panelists fielded questions about the importance of writing vs. reporting and spent several minutes looking into the future of journalism.
Graham recounted the discussion in the Philadelphia Inquirer newsroom on the day they won the Pulitzer for their investigation of violence in city schools.
“This is what the future is. This is why we exist,” she said. “[Blogs] don’t have the resources we do. There will be a Philadelphia Inquirer going forward. What we do is too valuable.”