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David Westin’s Year-End Note: Challenges Ahead

TVNewser has obtained ABC News president David Westin‘s year-end memo to the staff which looks to the “challenges” ahead in 2009.

Three things will help us, not only overcome the challenges, but emerge stronger. First, we have the best people working as a team anywhere in news today. Period. Second, when the stakes are highest and the outcomes are least certain, that’s when we have the most to contribute to our audiences. This is the time when they need to know as much of the truth as we can find; they need to understand as much as we can explain about what is going on around them and how it affects them. And finally, we can focus our efforts on doing the reporting that no one else is doing.

Full memo after the jump…


__________________________________________
From: Westin, David L.
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 8:36 AM
To: #ABCTV News ALL
Cc: Sweeney, Anne X.
Subject: 2008

Watching the year-end pieces on our programs reminds us of all that has happened in the exciting and tumultuous year of 2008. It also underlines the great work that people throughout ABC News did this year. Our election coverage necessarily tops the list. It was an election for the ages with all the stories one could have hoped for. That our coverage did this monumental election justice is the highest compliment I can pay to you who did so much. But the stories we covered went well beyond the election to cover natural disasters and international turmoil and men and women in tragedy and in triumph. And, of course, there is the economy — a story that loomed larger as the year went on and that promises to continue well into 2009.

Next year will present great challenges. Three things will help us, not only overcome the challenges, but emerge stronger. First, we have the best people working as a team anywhere in news today. Period. Second, when the stakes are highest and the outcomes are least certain, that’s when we have the most to contribute to our audiences. This is the time when they need to know as much of the truth as we can find; they need to understand as much as we can explain about what is going on around them and how it affects them. And finally, we can focus our efforts on doing the reporting that no one else is doing. In 2008, you showed that we can go where others aren’t going and ask questions others aren’t asking so that our audiences will come to us for what makes us unique. You did it time and again in covering the election, in our investigative reporting, in covering the economy, and in so many other stories. In the coming year, striving to report what others are not reporting will be more important than ever before.

I hope you enjoy the holidays. I also hope that each of you can take real satisfaction from your contributions to the great accomplishments of ABC News this past year. And then, come back ready to face 2009 with all of its promises, as well as its challenges.

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