Many Fairfield students feel pressured at some point during their college years to decide what they’ll be doing for a career. But for CBS’ “60 Minutes” reporter Lesley Stahl, she decided she wanted to become a reporter at age 30.
Stahl spoke at the Open Visions Forum held at the Quick Center last Wednesday night. She talked about the current transition America is undergoing. Becoming an American television journalist at a late age, Stahl has seen many changes occur throughout her career.
Before “60 Minutes,” Stahl worked at “Face the Nation” as a moderator and “America Tonight” as an anchor. She has now been working as a reporter at CBS for 21 years and has seen the way sharing the news to the public has changed throughout the 40 years that she has worked in the journalism industry.
Stahl compared the new age of technology that people live in today to what she had grown up with. Stahl said, “Television brought this country together, but then cable and Internet broke us apart.”
Using a humorous conversation to engage the audience in the subject, Stahl said, “You know who watches 60 Minutes? … No. … Old people and their parents.” The Quick Center audience laughed, but there was a feeling of truth to her words.
According to Stahl, technology has changed everything. She added that the pace of new technology is rapidly quickening, and that “no one can keep up.”
However, Stahl gave positive advice to the students in the audience who will be entering the working field of this new technological age.
“No matter how bad it gets, you can always bounce back,” said Stahl. “The message is this: don’t forget to call your mother.”
Stahl continued to tell the “young people who don’t know what they want to do” that they should continue to have hope.
One of the judges on the panel that asked Stahl questions was James Simon, a professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University.
Being an experienced journalist himself, Simon understood the message Stahl was relaying to the students.
“Try to find something that you’re passionate about, which might occur in your college years or when you’re 30 years old, as it was in her case,” said Simon. “Not to get discouraged if you don’t already know what your major is going to be or what your career path is going to be.”
After the Open VISIONS Forum discussion, students and other audience members were able to have a question and answer portion with Stahl. As the night ended, students had positive points to say about Lesley Stahl’s talk.
“She was an incredible speaker, and I think you could see real passion for her job,” said Aidan Wildes ’14. “She really kept me on the edge of my seat.”
“The technology point was very interesting, and that it’s important to maintain multiple channels of news when ideology restricts yourself,” said Luke Record ’14. “If you read liberty newspapers, maybe you should look at a more conservative side.”
Despite the changes occurring in the world, Stahl encourages students to pursue their passion.
Whether they’re just out of college or turning 30, Stahl gives comfort to students that they will end up where they’re supposed to be.