Student Life Editor
His alarm clock sounds to life at 2 a.m. signaling the start of his day. Every day, Keene State College alumnus, Eric Kane, is given the opportunity to tell the story of other people’s lives—stories that would otherwise be unheard.
Through broadcast journalism, Kane has been given the opportunity to use his voice and words to tell the stories of those that would otherwise become overshadowed by the events that impact daily lives. Kane’s profession allows him to cast recognition upon stories involving elements of human interest and politics, his two favorite news stories to cover, he said.
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“There’s really no job more rewarding than this one. You really get a backstage pass into other peoples lives,” Kane said. Kane, who is now a co-anchor for Upper Michigan’s Source’s morning show, wakes up at 2 a.m. and delivers the news until noon. For Kane, moving to Michigan was a lifestyle change, one that separated his ties with New Hampshire and left him living in the unknown.
“Going from the college bubble and college lifestyle where you’re constantly surrounded by your friends, to moving to an area where you don’t even know anyone, that was pretty difficult for me. That in itself was very difficult to overcome,” he said. “The hardest obstacle to overcome was personally just being away from my friends and family.”
However, living in the unknown allowed Kane to grow and develop not only as a journalist, but also as an individual. “The hardest part about being in front of a camera is that you can’t go to a job with your head hung low. You have to be bright and chirpy, it forced me to get into the game more,” he said.
But, Kane’s work here at KSC left him prepared to handle the challenges the workforce presented.
“Keene took care of me very well I would say. I always wanted to be a storyteller of some sort. When I came to Keene originally, I wanted to be a film director so I majored in film and I loved it.”
Kane said that even though he loved being a film major you have to be passionate about making movies and he didn’t possess the same passion compared to all of the other film majors. This prompted Kane to double major in communications and film and add a broadcast minor to his college career.
“I took a lot of journalism classes and I was very interested in politics so that got me thinking about journalism, so I added a broadcast journalism minor to the double major,” he said. Kane said he was lucky to land the job so soon after graduation even though that meant he had to leave behind his life in Keene, N.H. and move to Marquette, M.I. for the job.
Despite reservations about starting a new life, Kane went where the job was, allowing him to achieve a whole new level of success
In November, one of Kane’s stories was picked up by two national news organizations, NBC and CNN.
The story that put him on the map was a story of a child named Jacob Stieler who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After scans showed that Jacob’s body finally rid itself of cancer, the question of whether or not to continue to treatments put him and his family in the midst of a legal battle.
Jacob’s parents wanted to stop treatments of chemotherapy and radiation since the scans showed no more signs of cancer, but the doctors insisted that Jacob continue with treatments.
Kane said the family came into the station to talk to a reporter about their battles with the legal system and he just happened to be there.
Right away, Kane saw the potential in this story and the way the story could impact the public. Kane was given the opportunity to do what he does best–tell stories that have the ability to have a profound impact on everyone who listens. His excitement to cover the story allowed him to deliver the story to the best of his ability. “I thought, ‘I really hope I don’t screw this up,’ because it was a big deal for them personally.”
Despite the pressure to perform, Kane was able to deliver a performance that gained him recognition among the broadcast world. “You go into every story, giving it your all and you never know how it’s going to turn out.”
Kane attributes his success to the journalism program here at KSC. He said the department did a good job preparing him for the challenges and struggles the workforce presented.
Chad Nye, a journalism professor at KSC, had Kane in his class as a learning assistant. He said Kane came to him for help on his resume and cover letter, and critiquing and building a resume tape.
“Eric had a lot of strengths, his presentation, his delivery, those things were good. He was kind of natural on camera, that’s always a bonus. But he had a real desire to do journalism, to do news, and to get out there and hustle things up and that’s one of the things you can’t teach. You can always coach someone to be better on camera, but you can’t coach someone to have that desire.”
Nye said Kane’s desire to succeed in the field of journalism is what has allowed him to achieve this level of success.
Rose Kundanis, a journalism professor at KSC, also had Kane as a student in her broadcast journalism class. She said Kane came into the class knowing what he wanted. “Eric is the kind of student who comes in and says ‘This is who I am, this is what I want to do,’ and he listens because he knows that is where he wants to go.”
Through his work in the journalism department, film department, and communications department here at KSC, Kane was given a set of tools that allowed him to craft and develop the stories that inspired his work as a broadcast journalist.
In 2008 as a freshman, Kane was given the opportunity to campaign for the presidential election. There, Kane realized that his passion for politics would be better suited if he covered the world of politics, rather than being immersed in the culture of politics, he said.
“One of the reasons we have journalism, the main reason that we have journalism is so we can be informed about what goes on in our world, particularly in our government, so we can be better self governors as citizens, so you’re always going to have to talk about politics. That was a pretty grown up thing of Eric to do to gravitate towards that,” Nye said.
“You can film and deliver a story as fair and balanced as you can but someone will still complain because they didn’t agree with what the story is about,” Kane said.
However, criticism is what has allowed Kane to be balanced and fair in his work.
“Be open to criticism and you will get criticism. You’ll get a lot of it but this is good because you are young,” Kane said.
Being open to criticism has allowed Kane to succeed in his position as morning news anchor.
However, in the future, Kane hopes to move to a mid-size market and move back to the Northeast, he said. One way that Kane hopes to achieve this is to return to his reporting roots.
“I think that the best anchors are reporters,” Kane said. Kane said that becoming a reporter would allow him to transition into a higher rank in the broadcast field.
This transition would allow Kane to achieve his pipe dream.
“We all have dreams of becoming the next Matt Lauer.”
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