Consider the possibilities

How do you become the most trusted man in news?

If you’re Tom Brokaw, you “consider the possibilities.”

In the March/April 2014 issue of Public Administration Review, a leading scholarly publication based at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and edited by SPEA faculty, the former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News reflects on his favorite university professor and the wise counsel he was given by a teacher known simply to his students, colleagues and friends as “Doc.”

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

To say much more might take away from the enjoyment of this short, breezy piece that anyone familiar with Brokaw’s Midwestern sensibility and dry wit will surely appreciate.

Brokaw is also known for chronicling the achievements of “the greatest generation,” the term he coined to describe those Americans who grew up during the Great Depression and led our country’s efforts at home and abroad during World War II. Indeed, Doc Farber, who urged a young Brokaw to “consider the possibilities” when Brokaw was trying to find his way as a student at the University of South Dakota, made it through the Depression before dedicating his life to USD students.

But it’s no stretch to think that today’s generation of college students, including IU’s soon-to-be-graduates who will go through commencement ceremonies next month, will relate to the advice America’s most trusted newsman was given by his favorite professor many years ago.

Blogger’s note: Launched in 1940, Public Administration Review is the premier journal of public administration research, theory and practice. It is published for the American Society of Public Administration, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. IU SPEA Distinguished Professor Emeritus James Perry serves as editor-in-chief of the journal and Professor Richard Feiock from Florida State University is managing editor. SPEA staff and graduate students work on the journal as logistical editors and editorial assistants.

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