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Television host Anthony Everett credits Tufts with igniting his journalistic career

WCVB−TV host teaches ex−college class at Tufts

Published: Monday, March 7, 2011

Updated: Monday, March 7, 2011 07:03

Anthony Everett (LA '83), host of WCVB−TV Channel 5's "Chronicle" has watched his career bloom for about 30 years now, the lessons from which he is sharing with students this semester while teaching "Multimedia Journalism for the 21st Century" in the Experimental College. Yet though he has been awarded a Boston/New England Emmy Award in each of the past three years, he says that his journalistic passion can be traced all the way back to Medford, when he was an undergraduate at Tufts.

He joined the staff of The Tufts Daily in 1980, the same year it was created, as a news reporter.

"The Daily was literally a sheet of paper that the editors were sliding under people's doors. It pretty quickly went to the basic format that it is today," he said.

Everett found every aspect of the journalism world appealing — covering a wide range of issues, meeting interesting people, doing the actual writing reading the finished printed product — and the Daily soon became his most important activity.

"I came to Tufts in part because I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. When I hit organic chemistry, I realized that as a veterinarian, I made a very good English major," he said, laughing. He started thinking about attending law school and took up philosophy.

But, after graduating from Tufts in 1983, Everett's life plans took an unexpected turn. While waiting to hear back from law schools he took a skiing trip to Aspen, Colo., with some friends; once there, he decided to prolong his stay indefinitely.

In Aspen, Everett got a job at KSPN−TV as a sports reporter and anchor, although he had no previous broadcasting experience. After covering sports for a year and a half, he switched over to news and was eventually promoted to be the station's news director. He then moved to Hartford, Conn., to work at WVIT−TV, NBC's news local affiliate. In 1990, he joined WCVB−TV as a general assignment reporter.

Since September 2005, Everett has been hosting the nightly newsmagazine "Chronicle," which was named Boston's best local television program by the Improper Bostonian, a biweekly lifestyle guide, last year.

Everett said that he never regrets not attending law school.

"I had friends in law school that became attorneys and hated what they were doing. They told me, if you like what you are doing, stick with it, and I did," he said.

Although Everett has been working in the field for over 20 years, he said that his work remains exciting.

"The same things that attracted me to The Tufts Daily attracted me to my profession today," he said. "I like my job because it is different everyday. I'm not really tied to a desk. I meet interesting people and go to different places."

But sticking with journalism has been difficult for Everett, who said that he has struggled to balance his professional and personal lives.

"Journalism can be a difficult lifestyle. You end up working a lot of weekends and nights — hours that aren't compatible with the rest of the world," he said.

Given his unusual 2 to 9 p.m. workday, Everett misses out on some family time, but he said that the sacrifices are worth it.

"It has been a very rewarding profession, and for me it was the right decision to stay with what I've been doing," he said.

As the host of "Chronicle," Everett does mostly feature reporting and some hard news as well. He no longer covers breaking news, however, a fact he laments.

"There are times of big news events when I miss the adrenaline rush that goes along with breaking news," he said. "But for the most part, I am thoroughly content to be doing a newsmagazine that allows us to spend so much time on an individual topic. I think we do some of the best journalism in all of Boston."

Everett said that it was his previous experiences lecturing at Tufts that lead him to accept his current semester−long teaching post.

"We are at a very important moment at the information age as to how information is processed, gathered and communicated. There has to be some serious thought about the way we consume our information," he said.

Everett said that for students interested in journalism, getting involved at the undergraduate level with publications is critical because of the training it provides for the future.

"Because it is a relatively small operation, you get to do a lot of different things," he said, adding that the responsibilities of being the editor−in−chief of the Daily, managing everything from deadlines to budget to staff, helped him gain valuable experience for his eventual career.

Everett stressed how much he enjoyed Tufts as an undergraduate, and noted that two things about the school make him especially proud: the survival of the Daily and the impressive abilities of the Tufts students he now teaches.

"Tufts attracts a very high−caliber student body, and it is very rewarding for me to see that they are very engaged in the ideas surrounding the profession of journalism, that they care about it and they are actively engaged in learning more about it," he said.

Although Everett said it is an honor to have colleagues in his profession recognize his work with three Boston/New England Emmy Awards, he tries not to get caught up in the recognition, but rather stay focused on his work. He received the awards in 2010 for his general work on "Chronicle," in 2009 for his reporting about the recycling industry and in 2008 for his work regarding special education.

"Awards are really a kind of a validation of what someone else thinks about you, and it's really more important to have a good sense of your own self," he said.

Everett is aware of the contemporary difficulties in the world of journalism, but he emphasized that those with a passion for the business should still pursue it.

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