3000 stories and counting
Bill Middeke’s journal is a ledger for his memory.
“One section, I write down what I did that day− the hours I worked and who I worked with. In the other section, I write down the celebrities, politicians, and public figures that I have not met or seen because of my job.”
Middeke, a '00 graduate, is a videographer for KARE 11, an NBC affiliate in Minneapolis, Minn. No two days at work are alike for Middeke, except the starting and ending time. He comes in at 1:45 p.m. to prep his gear. At 2 p.m., he attends a crew meeting to discuss the news of the day and story ideas. He pairs up with a reporter, and by 2:30 p.m. they are out the door to shoot and edit on location or in the studio putting together a story from news feeds from around the country. Their finished story airs on the 10 p.m. news.
Before joining KARE, Middeke worked at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa and WEAU in Eau Clair, Wis. “With television, you have to move up from smaller to larger markets,” he said. During college, Middeke interned at Ox-TV in Oxford, England, while studying abroad at Oxford Tutorial College in England.
Even though Middeke is a passionate journalist today, he was not particularly attracted to this profession when he first started his education at Waldorf. But a broadcast class with Mark Newcom, associate professor of communications introduced him to the wonderful opportunity that later became his career. Newcom needed someone to shoot an event on campus and he thought Middeke was talented. While shooting the event, “everything just kind of clicked,” said Middeke, and he knew photojournalism was for him.
Achieving an illustrious career in photojournalism, Middeke’s list of accomplishments is endless. He has received over 80 awards, including four-time member of a National Press Photographers Association Station of the Year Award.
In his spare time, Middeke drives down from Minneapolis once a week and mentors students in Professor Newcom’s broadcast class each semester. He also invites students to shadow him at KARE-TV so they can see a news station’s shooting and editing process. “I just feel fortunate that I have something that I love to do and have fun doing,” Middeke said. “I hope that I can help students find that same thing in their life.”
Along with alum Brian Cibula, Middeke started a Facebook page, Waldorf Communications 411. There are over 200 current students and alumni on the page. Students have the wonderful opportunity to get their work critiqued by alumni and connect with them for jobs and other possibilities.
Middeke works to instill in Comm. majors that, “Communications isn’t hard. It’s fun. If you look at challenges in a fun aspect, like in a video game, getting the high score or reaching the next level, it is a challenge and not an obstacle.”