College student uses braille to anchor the news - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

College student uses braille to anchor the news


NORFOLK, Neb. (KTIV) -- To break into the broadcast news business, you have to have determination, good writing skills, and of course the voice. And for one Siouxland student trying to break into the biz, the ladder is even harder to climb.

It's your typical midwest college, and your typical student broadcast department.  There's a studio, audio board, and television prompter.

"I do want to go into broadcasting, " said Nick Pavel, a sophomore at Northeast Community College.

Every year thousands of broadcast students try their hand at breaking into the TV news business, and at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska there's one student who uses his hands literally to master his craft.

Nick uses his hands because he can't see the prompter or any scripts.  Nick has been blind since birth.

"I was an anchor last semester for our TV newscast and I also read the news on the radio last semester as well," said Pavel.

Nick does it with a braille note. 

"I type them out in my braille notes so I have to type everything out from beginning to end, so it's kind of a long process," said Pavel.

While he's been using braille for years, Nick, like any other broadcast student, had to get use to reading aloud.

"He wasn't used to reading out loud from that, but he's gotten used to it," said his instructor, John Skogstoe.

Training for a broadcast career is challenging even with all of your senses, but Nick minus sight says you can't miss what you never had.

"Since I've been blind since birth, I'm used to how I read," said Pavel.

Which makes him a real inspiration to his instructor and classmates.

"For someone like Nick with a visual impairment who only has the same challenges that everyone else does, that's a real testament to his attitude and how hard he works at doing what he wants to do," said Skogstoe.

"He's very smart and has the potential to be a broadcaster like everyone else here," said classmate, Austin Taibemail.

And with such determination, you may never know where Nick could turn up someday.

"Nick Pavel for KTIV News Channel Four," said Nick Pavel.

The competition just got a little more stiff. 

Nick is a sophomore from Lesterville, South Dakota.

His instructor says he has heard of other blind radio announcers but has not heard of a blind television newscaster.

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