EIJ session: Generation J: "What we swear by"

September 20, 2016 10:40

By Shaynah Ferreira, RTDNA News

Today's journalism students must be prepared with tools to succeed. They work to balance professionalism, consistency and "doing it all." A Sunday session at Excellence in Journalism 2016 called Generation J: "What we swear by" gave students a chance to heaar from working journalists about what they can do to stand out among the competition, and how to stay employed in an ever-changing industry.

Ricardo Torres of The Catholic Herald began the session by encouraging students to "learn everything and do everything."

"You should learn how to be a journalist on multiple platforms. Gone are the days of just being a reporter or anchor; the more you can do, the better." said Torres. "You can't have too many skills."

Torres also implored journalists to have diverse interests and to cover as many beats as possible. The more experiencing covering different beats, the more valuable young journalists can become at the entry level.

Panelist and reporter Rhonda LeValdo told the audience it is incumbent upon them to join diverse groups. She encouraged journalists to make connections and friendships with people from diverse backgrounds. "It can certainly inform your reporting and give you insight into a community said LeValdo.

The panel then shifted to newsroom values  and what journalists fresh out of school should prepare for. Mike Brennan, Executive Producer at KOB-TV in Albuquerque implored any young journalists to do the following in their job search:
  • Be bold and aim high
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes
  • Fulfill and surpass management expectations
  • Show them what makes you special
And panelist Stacey Welsh of KENS-TV urged students to do their job and learn how to thrive in the position. She pointed to social media as key to any journalism job, and encouraged students to examine how they use social media for work and personal reasons.

"Be aware of your station's social media policy" she said, adding some stations have contracts that include provisions allowing them control of reporters' social accounts. "It's important to note that. And if there is anything that may be inappropriate, students should take care of it prior to their job search," said Welsh.