Charges of “fake news” notwithstanding, it’s important to remember that journalistic integrity is still the standard for most reporters – including the three University at Albany alumni profiled here.
CNBC producer Stephanie Landsman began thinking about a career in journalism even before enrolling at the University at Albany. “I was news editor of the Clarkstown High School North newspaper and news director of its radio station,” recalls the New City, N.Y., native.
Landsman’s academic experience underscored her conviction that she was on the right career path – and that she’d chosen the perfect school to propel her toward her professional goal. Its location in New York’s capital, paired with her interest in politics, made UAlbany an attractive option. In addition, “I was aware that the University had a strong track record in placing students in government internships,” says Landsman, who interned at the state attorney general’s Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection as a mediator and in New York State Sen. Joseph Holland’s office, “doing public relations.” She also completed an internship at WTEN, the ABC television affiliate in Albany. “The stories I helped reporters and producers cover often took me to the state capitol, too.”
Landsman further honed her journalistic credentials by signing up to work as a news anchor and reporter at WCDB-FM “pretty much the day I started at the University.” As news director, she supervised staff and anchored daily newscasts. Through her work with the WCDB news department, Landsman notes, “I had the opportunity to cover President Bill Clinton’s trip to UAlbany, Vice President Al Gore’s speaking appearance at UAlbany, and Giants training camp. The experience supported my belief that journalism would be a great fit as a career path.”
An English major with minors in journalism and history, Landsman “particularly enjoyed any course that Professor William Rainbolt of the journalism department taught. Professor Richard Hamm’s history classes were also among my favorites. Both showed passion and expertise in their fields of study. They always kept their classes engaged,” says Landsman, who received UAlbany’s Ronald R. Shafer Memorial Award, presented annually to an outstanding graduating senior in the journalism program.
When Landsman sought career advice, “Professor Rainbolt gave me great direction, and I consider him one of my first mentors. He advised me on internships and applications to graduate schools for broadcast journalism.” Landsman went on to earn an M.S. in that field from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
In 1999, Landsman was hired at CNBC to cover general news updates but later transitioned to business news. “I didn’t work on Wall Street, and I never interned at CNBC while at school. But I enjoyed the business-news content, read everything I could to learn more, and absorbed a lot from just being in the newsroom. Often, business news is closely tied to general news – especially on the political level. There is so much legislation, for example, that comes out of Capitol Hill and affects Wall Street and Main Street. It wasn’t unrealistic for me to try to pursue opportunities to cover business full-time,” she observes.
“At CNBC, I am currently managing, shaping and executing editorial planning for the 5 p.m. [ET] business news show ‘Fast Money.’ I also regularly produce content for the CNBC Digital shows ‘Trading Nation’ and ‘Futures Now.’ I write and produce news and features for both TV and CNBC.com.
“My role at CNBC gives me access to many of the most intelligent people on Wall Street and in politics, as well as in my field,” adds the producer. “I’m continually evolving at the network, particularly as digital becomes a bigger part of the way people consume news.”
Landsman is grateful to the University for “giving me a solid foundation for writing and opening the door to valuable internships.” In fact, internships are among “the most valuable tools for students,” she believes. “Not only do internships help students network; they will also help determine which career could be the best fit.”