Kevin Smith, left, and Doug Haddix
With its hallmark Kiplinger Fellowship behind us, the program’s staff now steps into summer and ushers in the season of professional media conferences and conventions.
In the coming months, Director Doug Haddix and Deputy Director Kevin Smith will travel coast to coast and be in front of nearly 1,000 journalists, offering our quality brand of continuing education for professionals.
At the core of this travel is the mission of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism: the professional development of journalists in digital and social media.
While the Kiplinger Fellowship garners the most attention, a large part of the Kiplinger brand is on display at various conferences around the nation. Working one session at a time, Kiplinger can boast by year’s end of being involved in training nearly 1,500 journalists.
Journalists can’t help themselves. The calendar begins to turn and we feel the need to reminisce about the year that was.
At the Kiplinger Program, we couldn’t resist telling you about what we accomplished in 2014. We put our heads together this week and thought about our achievements, and well, even though we were elbow deep in all this work, we allowed ourselves a moment to realize what we accomplished and enjoy what we think is an impressive list.
“These are great. This shows great progress in the program,” director Doug Haddix said.
Of course, nothing on this list is accomplishable without the contributions of so many journalists who worked with us as supporters, trainers, advisers, fellows and participants. So, the program’s successes are linked to the great people we work with from January to December.
In no special order, here are our Top 10 Moments for Kiplinger in 2014:
“Are you two the Americans?” she asked with a smile.
I had been watching her make her way from the front of the bus to the last row of seats where I had been with my travel companion, Joe Skeel. Obviously we stood out in a bus filled international journalists.
“Yes, we are.”
“Do you have anything with you, anything you are wearing, that is a symbol of the United States? Do you have an eagle, flag?”
“No,” we answered, not entirely puzzled by the questions. We were, after all, sitting in the DMZ moments from disembarking and walking into North Korea.
“Good, because you are not allowed to have it where we are going.”
Where we are going? You mean North Korea in 2007, that oppressive country which hated the United States and pretty much anything that resembled democracy? That North Korea led by dictator Kim Jong Il who always seemed to have his finger inches from a nuclear launch button?
Where we were going was only half the story. The rest unfolds in a bizarre 36 hours that involved a drunken Chinese leader, two hours on a bus while Czechs were detained for filming soldiers, and the near arrest of a surly Italian reporter who was generally uncooperative with our hosts the entire week. And there was lots of undistinguishable, high-octane alcohol.