By Tania Boyer, Greenlee Web Team
What has become of Iowa State University’s journalism alumni? Given all the new technology in media, film, and especially the Internet, where are these alumni thriving and making an impact?
Well, if you were interested in digital video, web media, and film producing, Mark Honer, class of 1981, would be the person to speak with. I had the opportunity to speak with Honer recently, and hear first hand about his career and how it led him from a role as a reporter telling a story, to that of a producer creating the story. “We produce regional spots, syndication programming, and a lot of video for the Internet, HD, DV, and 16mm film,” said Honer in regards to his production company, Destination Hope Television.
He graduated from ISU and headed out into the world of media, landing his first job as a reporter in local television news (Kansas City) and then another ten years with CBS News (broadcasts and sports), where he became a producer. Over time, Honer realized he missed telling the story. So in 1996, he decided it was time to start his own production company DHTV. Now he would have the opportunity to be the “storyteller” again. He also has the opportunity to help others find the means to tell theirs. Creating and producing were the most important aspects to of the new company.
“It doesn’t matter how many people see [what you create], just do it,” he said, because the “times have changed.” The unfortunate reality is that these days, “news is something to be sold…[It’s] for marketing. [News] used to be about informing the public, helping people [by giving them useful] information. [Now the] influence of business has taken over news, [and it’s all] about trying to get people to just watch.”
In its first year, DHTV Productions produced a show called Destination Hope, based around the idea of doing good, positive things, for other people. The show aired on twenty-five stations across the country for one year, before it was cancelled. The end of the show meant new ventures and new opportunities, as the production company moved on to new venues.
The new endeavors included: freelance production in a variety of avenues, creating visual material for non-profit organizations, pieces for the Web, Internet, special events, media, and internal communications videos. Some of Honer’s clients include the Discovery Channel, E! Entertainment, the Food Network, and Harvester’s Communications.
Honer says that journalism students have many new and vast opportunities to look forward to in a media career. These days, video is all the rage. According to Honer, everyone wants it. The best news to students he can provide is that “now there are many channels and websites. [One] can do anything. Employment opportunities are bountiful.”
Nowadays, Mark Honer is continually busy. When he is not working on side projects, such as writing and producing an amateur sports video, he is with his family. “Time is very valuable,” he said. If you are interested in learning more about Mark Honer’s production company, check out www.dhtvproductions.com