Broadcasting Program Assistant
Tri-States Public Radio
I just try to live by the idea of being nice to other people and helping when I can.
Jason works in Keokuk, Iowa as a Broadcasting Program Assistant at Tri-States Public Radio. He began his career at WIU in September 2003. Due to the fact that Jason is physically located in Keokuk, the typical interview questions were emailed to him to complete and he then returned his responses to our HR office. It would be remiss of any HR staff member, to attempt to re-write what an experienced journalist has so eloquently shared. It is always good to switch things up a bit, so in a more Q/A interview format, here is Jason Parrott's WIU story written by Jason himself!
- Describe your role/job in your position. - I am the southeast Iowa news correspondent for Tri States Public Radio. I work out of Keokuk, Iowa, reporting on a wide variety of topics, including political campaigns, city council meetings and education. I look for topics that interest our listeners in southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri and west-central Illinois. I write and produce day-to-day stories and in-depth reports that can be heard on our airwaves and multi-media content that is available at www.tspr.org.
- What do you like most about your job? - What I enjoy most about my job is that it changes every day. A Monday could find me interviewing a Congressman or a Presidential Candidate while a Tuesday would have me sitting in a county board meeting. By Wednesday, I could be doing a feature on a disabled dog who visits classrooms in a local school district. My schedule changes daily, if not hourly.
- What advice would you share to prospective employees of WIU? - WIU is a great atmosphere and a great place to work. I am not only an employee of the university, but also a graduate so my history and connection with WIU runs deep.
- Would you share one of your most memorable experiences of your job? - My most memorable experiences during my 10 years with WIU/Tri States Public Radio would be covering the presidential campaigns in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Current President Barack Obama showed up in an elementary school in Keokuk in early 2008. He was a U.S. Senator at the time, so it was a big deal, but no one knew how big a deal it would eventually become. His spokesperson assembled a group of local reporters, saying we could each have one question. I believe as a group, we asked about 12 questions, with myself asking about seven of them. I also had a one-on-one interview with then Sen. Joe Biden, who is the current Vice President. We talked in a hotel lobby after an event and he even called and left a message on my mom's office phone at the Rec Center (at the time) saying he met me.
- Tell me about something you feel has helped you in your position. - My co-workers have really helped me in my job, especially News Director Rich Egger. We have worked together for nearly 11 years now and I know my skills have greatly improved during that time because of him.
- Would you share your WIU journey to this point? - My path to working at WIU goes back to my time as a student at WIU. I was a member of the WIU track and field team during my time in Macomb, serving as captain my senior year. I ran out of eligibility before I had completed my degree, so I had a lot of free time during my final year on campus. I worked for the Western Courier and what is now known as the Disability Resource Center before being hired part-time as a student reporter at Tri-States Public Radio. I really enjoyed the station, especially the people working there. My experience in Public Radio convinced me to enter the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois-Springfield. This is a unique Master's Degree program where participants spend part of their time in the classroom and part of their time reporting on the Illinois Legislature. Upon graduation, I returned to Tri-States Public Radio to establish a news bureau in Keokuk, Iowa, and the rest, you could say, is history.
- What do you enjoy doing when you're not working? - When I am not working, I love spending time with my wife Jamie and our three dogs. We travel to the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri whenever we can. When we are not doing that, we enjoy spending time with our friends and family or watching one of our favorite television shows. I am also a big sports fan who enjoys fantasy football and the occasional card game.
HR salutes Jason Parrott as one of our many committed Civil Service employees at WIU!