Sesame Street is eliminating 67 positions!

While we all know the seriousness of having more good people out of work, once the news about the Sesame Street layoffs broke some chose to make fun of it as a way to lighten the mood, or to be satirical.

I believe I saw on Twitter a campaign to save Kermit. While I chuckled at what I read and watched, I felt reality weigh on my shoulders. In the last week I've had three college students job shadow me. Next week I'm having another job shadow join me. I show off the station and explain each position. I set the students up to observe newscasts from the studio and the booth. They've talked to the staff, from floor directors to producers to anchors, to get information and ideas about what they can expect while working in a news position.

I've seen and felt their excitement. Their true awe at what we do in the news, reminds me why I dreamt of being a journalist since 8th grade. That's when the sadness sits in and I cover it with a reassuring smile.

I can no longer tell these students, nor the interns that work with us every semester, that they will be able to find a foot in the door at some newsroom if they're willing to work hard, for little money, in small towns that they've never heard of before. I'm not the only one who feels this way. With every job shadow I've had in, a coworker has pulled me aside and asked me if I'm being honest with them about the current economy and the future for every person that makes the news happen.

I don't need to blatantly honest with these students. They already know the truth. They are all students of CSB School of Broadcasting, which locked it's door last week leaving students across the nation stranded. The campus in Denver only opened last fall. This is the first group of students the campus has taught. The morning session at least finished it's final project, but now their reels and radio projects are locked in a building they can't access. The night session was just a few classes shy of the final projects.

These students don't know what to do now. They don't even know if they're getting their tuition of $12,000 plus returned. I can't say no to their requests for a job shadow now, even though they no longer have a school. I used to teach them, as did my husband and several other highly qualified journalists from the metro area. I've seen their hopes and dreams develop as they've learned the business. I encouraged them to call for a job shadow and to apply for internships; which now, they can't even get internships because they no longer have a school.

So I show them all that I can. I teach them how television news is really achieved. I feed their excitement and give them hope.

Am I wrong in doing so? Am I right? I am torn.

As to the Sesame Street layoffs, real people or muppets, if there's a campaign to save certain positions, I campaign for all. My family has lived through a layoff. I've seen my good, qualified coworkers let go. I hear the whispers in the hall of the anticipation of what's to come. I wish it on no one.

The chuckle I experienced earlier wasn't one of relief or joy. It was bitter and sad.