New Side Gig: NewsNight on WUCF PBS

New Side Gig: NewsNight on WUCF PBS

I have a hard time saying no. So when a friend of mine, the ED of WUCF PBS, asked me if I would be interested in sitting in on some crazy idea he had in mind, my answer was an enthusiastic, “YAS, queen.” Coupled with a chin wiggle and some sort of hand motion, vaguely reminiscent of Dr. Strange casting a spell … or a clown making an invisible balloon animal.

Or, an otter trying to hold onto a slippery clam while laying on its back next to a boat full of tourists.

Before I knew it, I was sitting at the same table as some seasoned reporters from big-time outlets surrounded by half-asleep interns and hairy cameramen. Steve Hudak was there from Orlando Sentinel, Dave Berman from Florida Today, and our sherpa for the day was Miss Nancy Alvarez from WFTV. And she totally killed it. No surprise.

The new series will feature journalists from various outlets, chatting about popular headlines but with an insider perspective behind the stories. The tagline? #journalismmatters. It felt like some invisible muse was whispering in my ear saying, “You’re doing something right.” While pinching my butt and invisibly winking at me.

Our topics of discussion included:

  • The debate over arming teachers.

  • Orlando’s affordable housing crisis.

  • ATV gangs in Central Florida.

And I don’t think I did too badly. They said they would definitely ask me back on. The show is designed to feature different local journalists depending on what the subject matter of the given episode but I’m feeling pretty good about it and I’m already looking forward to going back.

Check out the episode below.