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National figures visit NMSU

ABC News veteran reporter Sam Donaldson and Buzz Aldrin, an Apollo 11 astronaut and the second man to set foot on the moon, made visits to New Mexico State University's journalism department Tuesday, Oct. 17, and public television station Wednesday, Oct. 18, respectively.

ABC News veteran reporter Sam Donaldson addresses a New Mexico State University broadcast journalism class in Milton Hall Tuesday, Oct. 17. (Courtesy photo by Allen Purcell)

Donaldson, host of "Politics Live" on ABC News Now, the ABC News digital network, took questions from broadcast studio operations students on Tuesday for about an hour. He discussed a variety of subjects, which included the role of media today, politics and professionalism.

"When it comes to journalism, my main concern (about news) is whether it's worthwhile and accurate," Donaldson said in response to a student's question about the profession.

Donaldson and Aldrin were both in Las Cruces and at NMSU because of their involvement with the Second Annual International Symposium for Personal Spaceflight at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

Robin Riley, an assistant professor of journalism, said it was great for Donaldson to share thoughts with his students about journalism, TV journalism and a variety of other issues facing the American public.

Riley said video tapes of Donaldson's visit will be offered for those who were unable to attend.

"We hope to invite Sam Donaldson on campus again when we can plan a more formal reception," Riley said.

Aldrin made his visit to KRWG public television studio to film a segment for the station's "Minding Your Business" show with Dave Holly, interim general manager of the station.

During the filming, Aldrin discussed a variety of issues dealing with space travel, including his ShareSpace Foundation and commercial space travel. Aldrin founded the ShareSpace Foundation in 1999 to promote public education and interest regarding space travel. The ShareSpace Web site, http://www.sharespace.org/, is set to launch in November.

"He has a strong commitment to education from the elementary level all the way to the university level," Holly said.

During the interview, Aldrin also suggested that partnerships between governments and private individuals may need to occur for space travel to be available to the public.

"What better person to have talk about space and the future of space exploration, than the second man to walk on the moon?" Holly said.

The segment with Aldrin is set to air on KRWG in November.

For more information about Donaldson's and Aldrin's visits, call Frank Thayer, journalism department head, at (505) 646-5048 or Holly at (505) 646-7351.