Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Flipping the script: I got interviewed!

A local high school student wanting to get into the media business interviewed me for a class project about journalism, inquiring about various aspects of my career and why I do what I do. It's always funny being on the other side of the media game. Here's a glance:

Name, Age and Title?
Jason Salas, 33
Interactive Media Manager, KUAM

What college did you attend? And what was your major?
- University of Guam (Marketing)
- University of Phoenix (MBA with Emphasis in Technology Management)
- I also did some independent study in music theory from the Jim Sutton Institute

What kind of jobs were you doing before this like interning for another company?
I've always had jobs in the retailing, marketing and technology fields. It's important to get a good feel at a young age for the type of industry you want to get into, so I tried to stay within those lines. At first, I wanted to get into advertising, but everything just gelled.

How long have you been doing this?
I've been a broadcaster now for 8 TV seasons, and I've been developing software for more than 10 years. I've held various marketing jobs since I was 14.

Why did you choose this career?
I came to KUAM as a web developer to evolve KUAM.com into a living online news product. Basically, to express everything the company did on the air hypertextually. Shortly thereafter, I started hosting a technology segment on TV, which eventually led to me filling-in for news as anchorman when the Iraq war started, and a few years later I started co-hosting our flagship nightly newscast with Sabrina Salas Matanane full-time. It's been fun because there's no room for me to get complacent - there's always a new challenge, new skills to master, a different way of delivering information to people.

What are some gripes you have about this job?
The hours can be brutal and we really don't have any days off and we're on-call 24/7, so this isn't your average 8-5, Monday through Friday job. You have to sacrifice a lot, but you also get afforded an entire world of opportunities to do some really meaningful, worthwhile work for the community. Also, the subject matter of the topics we report are often the types of things you really have to have thick skin to be able to deal with.

What is your typical day at work like?
It's never the same day twice, but we're constantly working on producing content for KUAM.com and gathering stories for the newscast. Everything's about showtime, so it's got to be right and it's got to get done. We may be out in the field, at the office or somewhere else. Whereas most people's work days get easier as they inch towards 5pm, our stress level crescendos as we get closer and closer to showtime.

Are you where you want to be?
Totally. I'm financially stable, I have a great job with people I adore, and I have fun working with technology in an industry that's constantly evolving and always in demand. I get to meet a lot of interesting people with genuinely interesting things to say and stories that need to be told. That people rely on me to let them know what happened in the world today is something I take very seriously and don't take for granted. I value that responsibility tremendously.

Did you always want to do this?
I kind of knew I'd be involved in "show biz" at some level. I've always had the ability to communicate, so in that sense, this is my dream job.

I know it's silly, but I must ask, do you still get a trip from being on television?
At first it was like that, but not as much anymore. I do still get nervous when we're presenting a really big story, though. It helps keep me grounded and focused.

Friday, May 18, 2007

BSU's Zabransky chosen for "NCAA '08" cover

So I'm in a local game shop yesterday between meetings reserving a copy of Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition for PSP when I came across another box for a forthcoming title, EASports' NCAA Football '08, featuring former Boise State QB Jared Zabransky. This is the biggest thing to happen to the WAC - hell, to any mid-major school - ever.

I was wondering how EA would deck out the latest edition of their college football title, and I honestly think they made the right choice. Ohio State's Troy Smith won the Heisman but got destroyed in the national championship by Florida, a team which didn't really have any cover-worthy stars (with apologies to Chris Leak). And seeing as how the nation's still enthralled with BSU's jaw-dropping hook-and-ladder and Statue of Liberty-induced victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, this makes them the darlings of the media. So good on EA for making this call.

Here's to playing on the Smurf Turf! Long may it reign!

GPL and web apps

One thing I've thought about a bit this morning is the applicability of the GNU General Public License on web apps. With the assumption now that most web content that would be contained with a web app heavily involving server-side programming and AJAX, the chance the license and distribute one's code , subject to copyleft, within the GPL makes sense.

Slashdot cites a good discussion of this, albeit a tad dated.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mama's boy? You damn right.

We're nearing completion of our "Meet Our Moms" series at KUAM, and as dictated by seniority in reverse order, I'm second-to-the-last. So today, I did mine.

My mom and I are very close, so this was the story she would have wanted to see and give her a laugh. I shared this script beforehand with a couple friends, so I naturally got the whole "mama's boy" riffing. Being close to the person who carried and raised you and openly chronicling it in mainstream media? That's the stuff Emmys are made of. But more importantly, a fitting tribute. :-)

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Freakin' classic

Prep, anyone?

I came across a YouTube'd clip of Noel's "Silent Morning" which was HUGE in high school...a staple of any party or dance during my time. Little did I know the real message of the song was warning of the dangers of promiscuity and AIDS.

I never knew what the dude looked like until now. Vintage.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Top of the world, Ma...

I'm a comedy purist. I've enjoyed Comedy Central since it first started out as Ha! way way back. So you can imagine the thrill I got this morning to come into work and find out that I'd made the network's blog. Talk about stoked!

I'd reported over the weekend the hilarious appearance of Guam's congressional delegate on "The Colbert Report" and somewhat expressed my disdain for the fact that many local residents were outraged in principle at the ribbing at my hometown. Such is life, and I can't say I was all that surprised, given our history of reacting to media coverage. It's already become the 2nd most-read story of this year, in only 4 days after being published, no doubt in part due to the reach.

But still, it's an honor to make it on a big stage.

Impressed with 'Rock Honors' honorees...sort of

You'll recall that last year I speculated on the rockers I thought should get recognized by VH1 in this, the second "Rock Honors". This year's crop, while deserving, admittedly let me down. Don't get me wrong - I dig all the bands/performers up for the nod, but last year's were truly heavy. ZZ Top and Heart are personal faves. Ozzy is an obvious choice. Genesis I really enjoy, but I'm not sure if they belong in this crowd - have a "Pop Honors" and stick them there.

So left waiting for another year for their due are Iron Maiden, Slayer, Pantera, Anthrax and the like.

I'll watch and liveblog during the show no doubt, but in so doing with a little disappointment in my tone.

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