Mark Kass, Editor of the Milwaukee Business Journal is known for his insightful analysis of the business community in Southeastern Wisconsin. But how did he get his start in journalism? Listen in the player above.
A partial transcript is provided below, courtesy of eCourt Reporters.
LIBBY COLLINS: What was the very first really big story you covered?
MARK KASS: I mean, I covered a lot of sports news in the early days. I remember I covered the Bucks, I covered some of the playoff games because I was a sports intern for them, but really probably the large stories I got to was when I went out and worked at the Waukesha Freeman, and I covered two things. I would say one was good and one was awful. I’ll start with good and that is that I got to cover a president, and that was Reagan. And to cover a president was pretty cool for a 23-year-old reporter. And I remember I’m thinking, man, what a great speaker, what an incredible speaker. And then I looked at my notes, he didn’t say anything. But he was such a great speaker that I was enthralled by it. So, that was really cool.
On the other side, I covered a stabbing of a 14-year-old of his 12-year-old brother because he was playing the radio too loud. Again, a horrible story, and this is one of the things you learn as a young reporter, they asked me to go, and I had to go knock on the door and try to speak with the mother. Thank God she said, “I don’t want to talk to you.” She was very nice about it, and inside I’m saying, “Thank you for saying that,” because I didn’t want to do it, but I had to do it, it was my job. And so, I walked away. But I always remember that because it framed, again, how hard the job could be, and I didn’t want to talk to her yet, but it was my job.
But there were other times when I was a young reporter I was able to speak with the family and actually help them, I think, to speak to me. I remember those really well.