Long time TV news anchorman honored by The Poynter Institute and Human Rights activist discusses his efforts in East Africa


Today on Radioactivity Rob Lorei speaks with John Wilson, a long time TV news anchorman here in the Bay area who is retiring after 50 years in the news business.

The Poynter Institute will hold a luncheon honoring Emmy award winning TV anchors Gayle Sierens and John Wilson tomorrow. Earlier this year both announced their plans to retire. John Wilson was born in the coal-mining town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, his broadcasting career began when he was only 15, as a disc jockey and news reporter for local station WLSD. Upon graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia with Journalism, English and Drama degrees, John was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963.

John’s been a fixture of Tampa Bay area television, joining WTSP-TV in 1981, anchoring the station’s primetime newscasts for 12 years. John’s passion for reporting kept him busy outside the studio as well earning high marks for his special reports traveling to Moscow, his trip to the White House to interview President Reagan, and live coverage from several political conventions. John also reported from Saudi Arabia for the start of the Gulf War in 1991.

In 1993, John joined WTVT and the FOX 13 team, where and his passion for reporting only continued to grow. Some of his most memorable stories came from his reports from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; from Normandy, France, covering the 50th D-Day Anniversary, and from being the first reporter ever allowed inside the War Room at U.S. Central Command Headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base.

Tim Franklin, the president of The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg also joins Radioactivity to discuss the awards.

Later, Rob speaks to Human Rights activist David Zarembka who graduated with a Bachelors Degree cum laude in African History from Harvard University and obtained a Masters degree in International and Development Education from the University of Pittsburgh. He has fifty years of involvement in the Great Lakes region as he first worked in the area in 1964 when he taught Rwandan refugees in now Tanzania. Since 1998, he has been the Coordinator of the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams, a Quaker organization that promotes peacemaking activities will local groups in the region. He currently lives in western Kenya with his wife Gladys Kamonya.

Dave will be speaking at the Friends Meetinghouse this Sunday Nov, 2nd at 12:30 pm.

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