The late nights working at The Capaha Arrow to get breaking news out to Southeast students prepared Alex Fees for his career in broadcast journalism. Originally from Union, Mo., Alex has spent the past six years as a free-lance television reporter and producer. Alex is a regular contributor at KSDK, Newschannel 5, the NBC affiliate station in St. Louis. That experience has led him to other opportunities, with the affiliate service of NBC News. And that connection has provided ample opportunity for Alex to get his face on television screens across the United States.
“When I work for the affiliate service,” explained Alex, “I travel to stories and do live shots and reports for any NBC station that wants to take it. That can include MSNBC and CNBC.”
His work as a free-lancer took Alex to Chicago to cover a 2003 fatal porch collapse, to Philadelphia for the Nicholas Berg murder in Iraq, to Florida for Tropical Storm Bonnie, to North Dakota to cover the disappearance of Dru Sjodin and most recently to the 2004 Washington University Presidential Debate.
Alex said the training and experience he gained while at Southeast prepared him for broadcast journalism. Alex graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. While attending Southeast, Alex worked on The Capaha Arrow as the editor-in-chief. It was before the age of pagination, so many long nights were spent along with the layout editor cutting and pasting articles. It was just one of many unforgettable experiences Alex took away from Southeast.
He urges college students to find an internship in the career field they plan to pursue. He says his internship with KTVO-TV (ABC) in Kirksville, Mo., confirmed that television was the route he wanted to go. Alex said internships can uncover a student’s desire to succeed and help them gain the necessary experience.
“In my case, grades alone were not going to attract any potential employers,” said Alex. “Journalism is very hands-on and employers ask ‘What have you written?’”
If Alex isn’t writing his latest story for KSDK, or visiting his mother and extended family around Union, Mo., you will find him at a local gym lifting weights and running. He says it’s an activity that keeps him sane and serene.
“I prefer the quiet life in between the frantic activity involved with the free-lance nature of my work,” Alex said. “While a wife and children, apparently, still remain a part of my future, I enjoy a lot of quiet hours at Starbucks.”
During the summer of 2004, Alex wrote and produced a half-hour, weekly children’s show for the St. Louis Cardinals and Dan Buck’s Triumphant Productions. “Cardinals Crew,” starring former pictcher Andy Benes and Fredbird, appeared in six states on Fox Sports Net. It brought children good, clean fun for the summer. Alex says his involvement with television allows him to have a positive impact on his audience.
“While I believe the media has earned its reputation for negativity,” Alex explained, “I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to know that I have positively impacted someone through public service by giving them information they need or can use.”
Alex’s best advice for Southeast students and graduates is to figure out what you want to do, and then figure out how to make it happen.
“Once you learn the difference between things you CAN’T do, and things you simply don’t WANT to do, you will find your limits are not nearly as restricting as you thought,” Alex said. “Don’t think you are not a success if you’re not where you want to be 10 years from now. There is a lot of life left after 30.”