Lisa Freed ’72

Producer, CBS News “48 Hours”

What advice would you give to a girl graduating from Williston today?   

Take every opportunity that is offered.  You never know where it will lead.

I have taken jobs that seemed far from what I really wanted to do – but turned into amazing experiences. I didn’t have a burning desire to write live segments for morning television, but I leaned a new set of skills and it led to producing videotape pieces about a vast range of subjects. It was work that I loved and would continue to do in one form or another for the rest of my career.

Tell us about a woman who is your hero and why?

I’ve been lucky to work for–and with–some formidable women over the years.  Innovative filmmakers and talented journalists who became mentors. They managed to survive and flourished in a business where, until fairly recently, there weren’t many women in charge. They demanded journalistic rigor, but at the same time encouraged people working for them to experiment and figure out new ways to tell stories. Having the opportunity to learn from them changed the way I thought about storytelling and made me a better producer.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice came from my father. He made documentaries and I knew from an early age that I also wanted to make films.  When I was a senior at Williston Northampton trying to figure out where I wanted to go to college, he encouraged me to get a liberal arts education rather than going to film or journalism school. He assured me that I could learn all the technical things later—but what was most important was learning how to think. He was right. I went on to major in anthropology, which had an enormous impact on the way I looked at the world, how I chose stories, and how I covered them.