Archive for July, 2011

Interview with Diane Pathieu, Assyrian Anchor and Reporter for NBC affiliate WTMJ TV

Monday, July 25th, 2011

By Ashur Sada (Founder and webmaster of Assyrian Voice)


 

-Hello and thanks for letting us do this interview with you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what you do?

Thank you! The pleasure is all mine! My name is Diane Pathieu, I am currently, an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC affiliate WTMJ TV, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I report on the news of the day, 5 days a week, from the field. I also anchor an hour-long noon show, 5 days a week from in the studio.

 

-Tell us about your TV career and what got you into it?
I’ve wanted to be in the television news business since I was a little girl, so I began to pursue it right away after high school.  I don’t know why I was so passionate about news, but I was, and it’s been an incredible journey.

 

-What is your typical day like in your job?
Depending on the news of the day, and which job I’ll be doing (sometimes I anchor all day long, other times I report and anchor) I wake at about 2:15am, am out the door by 3am, and putting on my makeup & doing my hair by 3:30am.

I am on the air (either in the field or on the desk) at 5am. After that- I gather a news story from 7am-10:30am, and then I am back in the studio anchoring the 12pm newscast. It’s a very fast-paced, hectic day. Plus, I get up basically in the middle of the night, and that’s something your body never gets used to!

-You often publicly knowledge that you are an Assyrian, including on your bio, something you don’t get with other Assyrians in other professional fields. Why do you feel the need to make this known?
This is such a good question. You know, when I first got into this business about 11 years ago, it was never really that important to share your nationality. Viewers always would assume my nationality was Greek or Italian, and I would always have to correct them. Then, more and more, I wanted people to really understand the Assyrian people and how they differ from ‘Lebanese’ or ‘Arabic’ people, so I started explaining it to my co-workers. In each of the stations I worked at, all of my co-workers knew what “Assyrian” was, and that made me so proud. I still have a flag at my desk.

Then when social media hit, I decided to become more public about my nationality, and although people still assume I’m something else- many others have been really kind and asked great questions to get to know me and my people better.

 

-What are your future plans for your career?
My goal has always been to one day work in my hometown of Chicago! God willing I get there soon!

 

-What are some of the things that you find really interesting to cover and report on?
I absolutely love breaking news. Fires, shootings, accidents, etc. stories that get your blood pumping.  Also- family stories, school stories, stories that I know will affect people and their families.

 

-What about some of the least exciting and interesting things that you have to report on?
I honestly can’t think of non-exciting stories! I’m pretty lucky that I get to cover a gamut of things.

 

-What is the most difficult assignment you have done as a TV anchor/reporter?
The toughest, by far, are deaths of children, and deaths of soldiers.  I have attended way too many funerals of soldiers, and apologized to way too many moms and dads over the years, and it never gets easier.

 

-If you weren’t working in the current market, what other city would you love to work in?
Chicago! Hands down! Maybe one day, New York City.

 

-What is your advise to other Assyrians who would like to get into the TV and media business?
This business is changing every minute! Learn to do everything, and realize the big money is not there anymore. The idea that people make a ton of money in this business is simply not true. When you hit the network level, yes. Until then, get ready to live on chicken and rice every day! Oh, and be prepared to move to a very small city!

-In your online bio, it mentions that you wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning! How can you even do that?
It is the single hardest thing I do every day!  I honestly cannot tell you how much of a challenge it is, but… once you get out of bed, the rest is much easier!

 

-What do you like about your job the most?
Making a difference in peoples’ lives.

 

-Is there any renowned or legendary reporter/anchor out there that you look up to?
My mentor Lisa Parker from WMAQ-TV, her terrific producer Robin Green.(former Chicago anchors) Bill Kurtis, Linda Maclennan, and Lester Holt.

 

-Have you ever MCed at any Assyrian events?
Yes, I co-hosted the St. Andrew’s Fashion Show in Chicago back in November of last year.

 

-You are both an anchor and a reporter at the same time: which one do you enjoy the most?
Since they are both completely different jobs, I truly do love them both.  When it rains or snows out, I like the anchoring!

 

-How has social media changed your job? has it made it easier or harder in that you have to be at so many different websites and outlets at the same time?
Social media has changed EVERYTHING about my job.

There is so much more to do, and so many different outlets to expose my stories. I have a direct connection to my viewers now, and although at first it was overwhelming, now it’s something I can’t imagine working without. People are not afraid to share their opinions with you online, it’s no holds barred!

 

-Are you involved or have any knowledge of what is happening with Assyrians, their political struggles in the Middle East etc.?
Through my job, no. Through my personal life, I certainly try to be.  All of my family is in the states, so there is no direct connection to the Middle East anymore, but I do try and stay up to date on issues.  My whole family is very passionate and involved though.

 

-Have you visited our Assyrian Voice website yet?
Yes! I have, and it’s great! And Yes! I can, and will, promote your site!

 

-Any last word or something you would like to say to all the people reading this interview?
Yes, I have to talk about the reason I am sitting here, other than God’s grace.It’s my family. I come from the most humble, kindhearted, and spirited Assyrian family. The love and support I get is overwhelming,  I choke up just writing about it. And that’s what makes our people great. Our ancestors have lived through so much. I am a first-generation

American, my family came to the United States with nothing. They created everything they have, and instilled hard work, dedication, and love within their two daughters. I am an enriched person, a kind person, a loved person, because of my mom and dad.

I am surrounded by my parents, incredible sister, brother-in-law, cousins, (both adult and babies), uncles, aunts, great friends and so on.

When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s contagious. I thank the Lord every day that he thought I was good enough to be a part of this family, and the Assyrian community.

 

-We thank you for this opportunity and wish you continued success and progress in your field.
And I thank you, for thinking I was good enough to write about. I am so proud of being an Assyrian woman, and I truly can’t wait to keep growing in this business, making other Assyrians proud!

-Hello and thanks for letting us do this interview with you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what you do?

Thank you!

The pleasure is all mine!

My name is Diane Pathieu, I am currently, an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC affiliate WTMJ TV, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I report on the news of the day, 5 days a week, from the field.

I also anchor an hour-long noon show, 5 days a week from in the studio.

-Tell us about your TV career and what got you into it?

I’ve wanted to be in the television news business since I was a little girl, so I began to pursue it right away after high school.

I don’t know why I was so passionate about news, but I was, and it’s been an incredible journey.

-What is your typical day like in your job?

Depending on the news of the day, and which job I’ll be doing (sometimes I anchor all day long, other times I report and anchor)

I wake at about 2:15am, am out the door by 3am, and putting on my makeup & doing my hair by 3:30am.

I am on the air (either in the field or on the desk) at 5am.  After that- I gather a news story from 7am-10:30am, and then I am back in the studio anchoring the 12pm newscast.  It’s a very fast-paced, hectic day.  Plus, I get up basically in the middle of the night, and that’s something your body never gets used to!


-You often publicly knowledge that you are an Assyrian, including on your bio, something you
don’t get with other Assyrians in other professional fields. Why do you feel the need to make this known?
This is such a good question.

You know, when I first got into this business about 11 years ago, it was never really that important to share your nationality.  Viewers always would assume my nationality was Greek or Italian, and I would always have to correct them.  Then, more and more, I wanted people to really understand the Assyrian people and how they differ from ‘Lebanese’ or ‘Arabic’ people, so I started explaining it to my co-workers.  In each of the stations I worked at, all of my co-workers knew what “Assyrian” was, and that made me so proud.  I still have a flag at my desk.

Then when social media hit, I decided to become more public about my nationality, and although people still assume I’m something else- many others have been really kind and asked great questions to get to know me and my people better.

-What are your future plans for your career?
My goal has always been to one day work in my hometown of Chicago!

God willing I get there soon!

-What are some of the things that you find really interesting to cover and report on?
I absolutely love breaking news.  Fires, shootings, accidents, etc. stories that get your blood pumping.

Also- family stories, school stories, stories that I know will affect people and their families.

-What about some of the least exciting and interesting things that you have to report on?
I honestly can’t think of non-exciting stories!  I’m pretty lucky that I get to cover a gamut of things.


-What is the most difficult assignment you have done as a TV anchor/reporter?
The toughest, by far, are deaths of children, and deaths of soldiers.

I have attended way too many funerals of soldiers, and apologized to way too many moms and dads over the years,

and it never gets easier.


-If you weren’t working in the current market, what other city would you love to work in?
Chicago! Hands down!  Maybe one day, New York City.

-What is your advise to other Assyrians who would like to get into the TV and media business?
This business is changing every minute!  Learn to do everything, and realize the big money is not there anymore.  The idea that people make

a ton of money in this business is simply not true.  When you hit the network level, yes.  Until then, get ready to live on chicken and rice every day!  Oh, and be prepared to move to a very small city!

-In your online bio, it mentions that you wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning! How can you even do that?
It is the single hardest thing I do every day!

I honestly cannot tell you how much of a challenge it is, but… once you get out of bed, the rest is much easier!

-What do you like about your job the most?
Making a difference in peoples’ lives.

-Is there any renowned or legendary reporter/anchor out there that you look up to?
My mentor Lisa Parker from WMAQ-TV, her terrific producer Robin Green.

(former Chicago anchors) Bill Kurtis, Linda Maclennan, and Lester Holt.

-Have you ever MCed at any Assyrian events?
Yes, I co-hosted the St. Andrew’s Fashion Show in Chicago back in November of last year.


-You are both an anchor and a reporter at the same time: which one do you enjoy the most?
Since they are both completely different jobs, I truly do love them both.

When it rains or snows out, I like the anchoring!


-How has social media changed your job? has it made it easier or harder in that you have to be at so many different websites and outlets at the same time?
Social media has changed EVERYTHING about my job.

There is so much more to do, and so many different outlets to expose my stories.  I have a direct connection to my viewers now, and although at first it was overwhelming, now it’s something I can’t imagine working without.   People are not afraid to share their opinions with you online, it’s no holds barred!


-Are you involved or have any knowledge of what is happening with Assyrians, their political struggles in the Middle East etc.?
Through my job, no.  Through my personal life, I certainly try to be.

All of my family is in the states, so there is no direct connection to the Middle East anymore, but I do try and stay up to date on issues.

My whole family is very passionate and involved though.


-Have you visited our Assyrian Voice website yet? if not, feel free to do so and better yet, let all your friends and fans know about it!

Yes! I have, and it’s great!  And Yes! I can, and will, promote your site!

 

-Any last word or something you would like to say to all the people reading this interview?

Yes, I have to talk about the reason I am sitting here, other than God’s grace.

It’s my family.  I come from the most humble, kindhearted, and spirited Assyrian family.  The love and support I get is overwhelming,

I choke up just writing about it.  And that’s what makes our people great.  Our ancestors have lived through so much.  I am a first-generation

American, my family came to the United States with nothing. They created everything they have, and instilled hard work, dedication, and love within their two daughters.  I am an enriched person, a kind person, a loved person, because of my mom and dad.

I am surrounded by my parents, incredible sister, brother-in-law, cousins, (both adult and babies), uncles, aunts, great friends and so on.

When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s contagious.  I thank the Lord every day that he thought I was good enough to be a

part of this family, and the Assyrian community.

We thank you for this opportunity and wish you continued success and progress in your field.

And I thank you, for thinking I was good enough to write about.  I am so proud of being an Assyrian woman, and I truly can’t wait to keep growing in this business, making other Assyrians proud!

-Hello and thanks for letting us do this interview with you. Can you please briefly introduce yourself and what you do?

 

Thank you!

The pleasure is all mine!

My name is Diane Pathieu, I am currently, an Anchor/Reporter for the NBC affiliate WTMJ TV, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I report on the news of the day, 5 days a week, from the field.

I also anchor an hour-long noon show, 5 days a week from in the studio.

-Tell us about your TV career and what got you into it?

I’ve wanted to be in the television news business since I was a little girl, so I began to pursue it right away after high school.

I don’t know why I was so passionate about news, but I was, and it’s been an incredible journey.

 

 

-What is your typical day like in your job?

Depending on the news of the day, and which job I’ll be doing (sometimes I anchor all day long, other times I report and anchor)

I wake at about 2:15am, am out the door by 3am, and putting on my makeup & doing my hair by 3:30am.

I am on the air (either in the field or on the desk) at 5am.  After that- I gather a news story from 7am-10:30am, and then I am back in the studio anchoring the 12pm newscast.  It’s a very fast-paced, hectic day.  Plus, I get up basically in the middle of the night, and that’s something your body never gets used to!
-You often publicly knowledge that you are an Assyrian, including on your bio, something you
don’t get with other Assyrians in other professional fields. Why do you feel the need to make this known?
This is such a good question.

You know, when I first got into this business about 11 years ago, it was never really that important to share your nationality.  Viewers always would assume my nationality was Greek or Italian, and I would always have to correct them.  Then, more and more, I wanted people to really understand the Assyrian people and how they differ from ‘Lebanese’ or ‘Arabic’ people, so I started explaining it to my co-workers.  In each of the stations I worked at, all of my co-workers knew what “Assyrian” was, and that made me so proud.  I still have a flag at my desk.

Then when social media hit, I decided to become more public about my nationality, and although people still assume I’m something else- many others have been really kind and asked great questions to get to know me and my people better.

 

 

-What are your future plans for your career?
My goal has always been to one day work in my hometown of Chicago!

God willing I get there soon!

 

-What are some of the things that you find really interesting to cover and report on?
I absolutely love breaking news.  Fires, shootings, accidents, etc. stories that get your blood pumping.

Also- family stories, school stories, stories that I know will affect people and their families.

 

 

-What about some of the least exciting and interesting things that you have to report on?
I honestly can’t think of non-exciting stories!  I’m pretty lucky that I get to cover a gamut of things.
-What is the most difficult assignment you have done as a TV anchor/reporter?
The toughest, by far, are deaths of children, and deaths of soldiers.

I have attended way too many funerals of soldiers, and apologized to way too many moms and dads over the years,

and it never gets easier.
-If you weren’t working in the current market, what other city would you love to work in?
Chicago! Hands down!  Maybe one day, New York City.

 

-What is your advise to other Assyrians who would like to get into the TV and media business?
This business is changing every minute!  Learn to do everything, and realize the big money is not there anymore.  The idea that people make

a ton of money in this business is simply not true.  When you hit the network level, yes.  Until then, get ready to live on chicken and rice every day!  Oh, and be prepared to move to a very small city!

 

-In your online bio, it mentions that you wake up at 2:30 AM in the morning! How can you even do that?
It is the single hardest thing I do every day!

I honestly cannot tell you how much of a challenge it is, but… once you get out of bed, the rest is much easier!

 

-What do you like about your job the most?
Making a difference in peoples’ lives.

 

 

-Is there any renowned or legendary reporter/anchor out there that you look up to?
My mentor Lisa Parker from WMAQ-TV, her terrific producer Robin Green.

(former Chicago anchors) Bill Kurtis, Linda Maclennan, and Lester Holt.

 

 

-Have you ever MCed at any Assyrian events?
Yes, I co-hosted the St. Andrew’s Fashion Show in Chicago back in November of last year.
-You are both an anchor and a reporter at the same time: which one do you enjoy the most?
Since they are both completely different jobs, I truly do love them both.

When it rains or snows out, I like the anchoring!
-How has social media changed your job? has it made it easier or harder in that you have to be at so many different websites and outlets at the same time?
Social media has changed EVERYTHING about my job.

There is so much more to do, and so many different outlets to expose my stories.  I have a direct connection to my viewers now, and although at first it was overwhelming, now it’s something I can’t imagine working without.   People are not afraid to share their opinions with you online, it’s no holds barred!
-Are you involved or have any knowledge of what is happening with Assyrians, their political struggles in the Middle East etc.?
Through my job, no.  Through my personal life, I certainly try to be.

All of my family is in the states, so there is no direct connection to the Middle East anymore, but I do try and stay up to date on issues.

My whole family is very passionate and involved though.
-Have you visited our Assyrian Voice website yet? if not, feel free to do so and better yet, let all your friends and fans know about it!

Yes! I have, and it’s great!  And Yes! I can, and will, promote your site!

-Any last word or something you would like to say to all the people reading this interview?

Yes, I have to talk about the reason I am sitting here, other than God’s grace.

It’s my family.  I come from the most humble, kindhearted, and spirited Assyrian family.  The love and support I get is overwhelming,

I choke up just writing about it.  And that’s what makes our people great.  Our ancestors have lived through so much.  I am a first-generation

American, my family came to the United States with nothing. They created everything they have, and instilled hard work, dedication, and love within their two daughters.  I am an enriched person, a kind person, a loved person, because of my mom and dad.

I am surrounded by my parents, incredible sister, brother-in-law, cousins, (both adult and babies), uncles, aunts, great friends and so on.

When you surround yourself with positive people, it’s contagious.  I thank the Lord every day that he thought I was good enough to be a

part of this family, and the Assyrian community.

 

We thank you for this opportunity and wish you continued success and progress in your field.

And I thank you, for thinking I was good enough to write about.  I am so proud of being an Assyrian woman, and I truly can’t wait to keep growing in this business, making other Assyrians proud!

 

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Leena Khamis: a new name in the list of Assyrian Football Legends

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

By: Ashur Sada

She is barely 25 years old, and she can already rest assured that her name will forever be part of a precious short list of Assyrian sports legends. She is Leena Khamis, an Assyrian soccer player who helped Australia reach the quarter finals of the 2011 FIFA Women Football World Cup  in Germany.And she didn’t just get there by being included as a name in the Australian team. She actually had a big part in their effort, even scoring a goal against Equatorial Guinea.

About  3 years ago, we had a discussion on Assyrian Voice about Leena Khamis’ rising popularity in Australia and their female league, where she was a leading scorer for her Sydney team. Three years later, we are talking about her as part of an Aussie team that was competing to win a world cup!  That is a great progress for Leena Khamis in 3 years and given her relatively young age , she could go for more in the years to come.

As I write this article, Australia has now been elminated from the tournament by Sweden-a powerhouse in female football-nevertheless, the accomplishment is already big enough for the Australian team and Leena.

Some may think that although this is indeed a very good achievment by an Assyrian athelete, the fact remains that it is still not a great one, given that it is a female tournament.  I beg to disagree. First of all, despite this being a female tournament, it is still female against female, so the competetion is fair and square. Secondly, this tournament has grown a very high profile worldwide in the last 10 years and is now watched by millions. Sure, it will never achieve same status as the real men’s competetion, but it is still pretty damn good with some great super stars that you will actually enjoy watching.

Leena Khamis is still young enough to be featured in the next world cup in 2015, should she continue to imrpove and get better and better. But even before that, we hope to see her in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London next year.

Like I already mentioned, and although her recent appearance at the World Cup was her biggest accomplishment, it is one of many other ones.  She has already represented Australia at the 2004 FIFA World Under 19 Women’s Championship in Thailand.  Domestically, she finished the inaugural W-League season as top scorer with 7 goals, helping her win the Golden Boot award With Sydney FC. Here are some of her major accomplishments locally and internationally:

2009  W-League Premiership with Sydney FC
2009 W-League Championship with Sydney FC
2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Winners with Australia
2011 FIFA Women World Cup Quarter Final with Australia

Ammoa Baba, Shedrak Yousif, Douglas Aziz, Ayoub Odisho, Basil Georgis…and now you can add Leena Khamis to the list of Assyrian soccer legends whose names will forever be engraved in the book of Assyrian soccer legends.

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Commercializing and Incentivising the Assyrian Society: why Assyrians can’t keep Doing Things for free forever!

Friday, July 1st, 2011

By: Ashur Sada

What is common between an organization like the Assyrian Aid Society and the international Red Cross? For the most part, including in their own by-laws, they are both non-profit organizations. They are not created to make any money, but more to help and assist people, supported by members and people’s donations.

Having established that the very fundamental core of their operations is non-profit, why is it that there is such a huge difference between how the presidents of the respective organizations get rewarded and compensated for their work? One is paid a six figure salary while the other works virtually for free. Not only do those working in high executive positions for the Red Cross get paid really well, some have been blasted for high salaries for a non-profit organization. In this article, comparing salaries of non-profit organizations’ CEOs, the presidents of the Red Cross and United Way were singled out in a negative way for their salaries of close to half a million for the year 2004. In that same article, the Salvation Army was highly praised for their efficient use and spending of donations, including the salary of its director which was less than $50,000.

Relatively speaking, and using these examples above, how does that compare to the Assyrian Aid Society? Quoting this section from their by-laws:

Section 4.06. Compensation of Directors. The directors of the corporation shall serve in office without compensation…

It is clear that AAS and other Assyrian organization members and directors do a lot for little or no money. Sure they are non-profit or charitable organizations, and we are not calling for a misuse of donations money, but these people do a lot and deserve something in return. This is part of a broader need to ‘commercialize the Assyrian society’

What does it mean to commercialize our society? It is simply to give more incentives for people to do things they already do. A lot of what we do should be commercialized. Commercialization will give more incentive for people to do work, by paying them and compensating them for their time. Yes, even if it is to help other people. Some may argue that there is no need to pay anyone to help others, and that is generally true. But in this day in age, people don’t have a lot of time to commit their time and resources to do something for free. They can do it for some time, but burnout and turnover is surely to kick in after.

Doing away with ‘favors’

Ever asked yourself why a lot of Assyrian organizations and even media outlets don’t last long? simply because there is no funding or monetary compensation, and people get discouraged or just can’t afford their time and resources in the long run.

It is interesting to note that those Assyrian entities that have commercialized their operations, have stayed in business. Some have even thrived. Good example is the Assyrian National Convention. Can you imagine if the convention was done for free, and all those involved worked for free? I don’t think it would have lasted for this many decades now.

Incentives in the Public and Politics

Commercialization should also exist in our public sectors such as politics and lobbying. In fact some Assyrian organizations have recently started to pay their lobbyists and rightly so, after all, who has the time to take on such a demanding and exhausting task with no compensation? Commercializing our politics ( or at least offering financial incentives ) will also discourage a public official or worker from corruption and under-the-table deals.

Business and Entrepreneurship

Business and Entrepreneurship should play a big role in our Community, which is what commercialization is all about. This is not at the expense of community spirit and volunteering but more of a compliment to it. My deceased father, who was an engineer back in Iraq, designed and built the entire beautiful St.George Assyrian church in Baghdad for free! Ignoring the fact that this is a church where price and effort shouldn’t matter, where else could you get such a sweet construction deal? Certainly not in North America or Europe!

Many years ago, when I was still in highschool, I decided to make some money from my website (to pay for its ever rising costs) by offering Assyrian businesses the chance to advertise here (AssyrianVoice.net) for a very low and modest price. Armed with a basic and honest sales pitch, I called my first client (whose name and location shall remain annynous.) I introduced myself and told him about the website and the offer. Without any business exchange and in a rather rude tone, he showed no interest at all. In fact he argued: “you guys should be helping us, Assyrian businesses, by advertising for us for free and not charge us.”
I thanked him and ended the call shortly after.

So this Assyrian business owner thinks those working for free should promote for those who are already making money, and do it for free. Funny. I thought it worked the other way around? Or at least in a reciprocal way?

That is the problem with our Assyrian society. What is not commercialized , should be, and sometimes even vise versa. Innovation and enterprrenership can only thrive by public support and funding. Assyrians have largely avoided this so far but it is time to change it. Just look at figures like Vincent Oshana, Rosie Younan, Walter Aziz etc. They all serve their nation and people, yet they make a profit from what they do. Is there something wrong with that, assuming they are not betraying or putting money before their nation and people? Absolutely not, otherwise how will they find the motivation and resources to move ahead in their careers? But according to some misguided Assyrians, these and others should never be paid a cent, no matter what they produce or give to their audience and fans. Even communism was a little more rewarding than how some Assyrians would like to run our society.

Let us start giving cedit where it due, reward those who put away from their time and effort to help us, and give more incentives for people to innovate and take this nation to the next level.

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