Reporters from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) took the stage yesterday for a lively discussion on the future of journalism. Hosted by Florida International University’s Department of Journalism and Media, the event was moderated by the South Florida Media Network’s Christopher Gomez.
Reporters Taylor Stewart, David Ovalle, Christian De La Rosa and sports anchor Hailey Sutton offered insights about being successful in the industry while also staying true to yourself and the integrity of your work.
Before a room full of students, they also talked about the importance of time management and dexterity. In today’s fast-paced world, it is essential to foster a variety of skills to fulfill the time-crunching demands of journalism.
“The television part is probably only a minute of our day,” said WSVN-7 News reporter Taylor Stewart. “People think you’re in front of a camera all day – you’re not. You’re running around, you’re hustling, you’re doing interviews, you’re putting your package together… and the most important skill to do that is just time management.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the panel was the importance of representation and diverse storytelling. The reporters all agreed that it is a journalist’s job to accurately represent the community you serve, which is achieved by pushing through prejudice.
“If you are a minority, don’t be afraid to have those conversations in the newsroom,” said WTVJ NBC-6’s Sutton. “If you see something that is making you uncomfortable, that is making you feel like you cannot be 100% yourself, say something about it.”
The journalists answered audience questions, including several from high school students attending an FIU program called Journalism Jumpstart, who wanted advice as beginning reporters.
“I don’t know what your background is, but if you can join NABJ, NAHJ; do it now,” said WPLG Local 10’s De La Rosa. “That’s going to get you this wonderful, beautiful, incredible network of people.”