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Pioneer Public – Cole D’Alicandro

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

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When Cole D’Alicandro started researching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for an introductory broadcast course, he became inspired to pursue a job in children’s television.

“I’ve been researching him [Mister Rogers] more than any human should,” D’Alicandro said. “I had to write a couple reports on him last year, and that’s really when I started making the shift from wanting to be news and wanting to be educational television, specifically children’s television.”

Originally, the sophomore broadcast production major planned on becoming a teacher.

“For three years, I figured I wanted to be a high school english or history teacher, and then I just started going around interviewing my teachers,” D’Alicandro said. “And as I kept talking to them I kept realizing: this just sounds miserable.”

D’Alicandro said he enjoyed interviewing the teachers, however, he decided on a career in the news industry instead.

D’Alicandro had already gained some experience working with children. This past summer, he worked at a summer camp, where he said he enjoyed the conversations he had with the children.

“The conversations you have with teenagers and 20-something year olds are much different from the ones you’ll have with a seven year old…I just think it’s really fun and interesting getting to see the world through their eyes from the questions they ask,” D’Alicandro said.

To prepare for his future career, D’Alicandro studied old episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to better understand why Fred Rogers did what he did.

“Recently, I’ve gotten more and more into digging up the old episodes and watching those and just sort of seeing what he does, small things that at first glance don’t make sense,” D’Alicandro said.

D’Alicandro said one thing he admires about Mister Rogers is how he addressed his audience. 

“The thing about Mister Rogers that I like is that he wouldn’t be talking at people,” D’Alicandro said. “He made it seem like he was talking to them through the TV screen…I just sort of like his whole philosophy and approach towards broadcasting in general, and I think that something like that is missing from television.”

In the future, D’Alicandro hopes to stay in the area, but said if a job opening for a children’s show opened somewhere else, he would strongly consider moving.

“I would really consider and weigh my options,” D’Alicandro said. “And I probably would go with it, just because I want to get in that field any way I can, and that would be a good start.”

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