Looking for Alaska: Wittenberg Alum in Alaska

Recent Wittenberg graduate, Cameron Mackintosh, ’15, followed his dreams — and President Obama — as he covered the presidential tour in Alaska.
Mackintosh works as a reporter and a digital producer with KTUU Channel 2 News in Anchorage, Alaska, and was able to cover Obama’s visit to Dillingham, Alaska, a small fishing community.
Obama visited Alaska as a way to engage with Alaskans on important issues to Alaska’s community and economy, as well as to view the effects of climate change first-hand, according to the KTUU Channel 2 website.
Cameron“It was pretty incredible [to cover the tour],” Mackintosh said. “I’m pretty sure every resident made it out onto the streets with signs to welcome the motorcade through town. It was great to see a whole community galvanized like that.”
During the president’s visit, Mackintosh not only live-tweeted about the day’s events and interviewed community members, but also had to get content online instantly, in order to stay as up-to-date as competing local news stations.
Mackintosh’s other day-to-day responsibilities as a digital producer include managing and maintaining the news website, making sure that KTUU website content gets shared through social media and reporting on breaking news on crime, fire and car accidents.
Mackintosh said that his experiences at Wittenberg as a Writing Center adviser have helped him in editing the stories that rushed reporters type out on their smartphones.
He also said that his exposure to video editing, social media and web management through his experiences with Integrated Media Corps have prepared him for his current position.
Although Mackintosh said that the process of generating accurate, high quality stories at a fast pace was a challenge at first, he also said that his new position does not come without rewards.
“I’ve always found working in a breaking news environment to be incredibly exciting,” Mackintosh said. “There’s something empowering about being aware of important events before the general public does, about being the one who shares that information with people.”
Mackintosh first heard about the position in Alaska through a family friend, and even though he was turned down for the original position for which he applied, he was later encouraged by the station to apply for a different opening. A week later, he had the job.
Even though Mackintosh would eventually like to work as a foreign correspondent for a major broadcaster, he said that the job in Alaska seemed like the perfect stepping stone to achieving his ultimate goal.
“I needed to get more broadcast/TV-related experience on my resume,” Mackintosh said. “But I was also motivated by the adventurous lifestyle that Alaska could provide. There are so many opportunities here for hiking, camping and experiencing true wilderness.”
Other aspects of Mackintosh’s experiences in Alaska that differ from Ohio are mountainous terrain that surrounds Anchorage, sunsets that occur at about 11:30 p.m. and cost of living that is much higher than in Ohio, according to Mackintosh.
“In many ways, Alaska feels more like a different country than just a different state. There are so many different people and different languages here,” Mackintosh said.

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