One version of the 2018 Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” cover shows newsroom survivors from the June 28 shootings at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., where Rowan alumnus Phil Davis, a reporter, was on duty but not injured. The attack left five employees dead.
Kristen Conner is an anchor/reporter for WHNT News 19 in northern Alabama. In 2017, she received the Edward R. Murrow Award for her work on the 30 min. documentary A Rescue Mission. She graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a B.A. in Communications and Journalism and a Minor in Political Science. You can follow Conner on Twitter at KConnerWHNT
Can you describe your job at WHNT News 19 and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
As Sunday anchor, I am part of a weekend team with limited supervision and a smaller staff. I act as a manager often, assigning reporters stories and sending out crews on the news of the day as it breaks.
My typical day in this role begins in the afternoon. I come in, work with the producer to read through the shows, make suggestions as needed, and research stories and make calls in order to decide how to handle news happening throughout the day. Then, I get up in the chair and anchor the show with the meteorologist and sports anchor. We typically do two shows on Sundays.
During the week, I shift back into a reporter role. I come into the afternoon meeting with researched and vetted pitch ideas. After I’m assigned, I’ll grab my gear and head out.
As a multimedia journalist, I set up, shoot, interview, write, edit and then present my own stories on multiple deadlines. We have a 4pm, 6pm and 10 p.m. newscast. It’s a busy day, but you’re always doing something different, new, and often exciting!
In Fall 2018, Dr. Emil Steiner joined the Journalism Department at Rowan University to serve as the coordinator of the new Sports Communication and Media program and teach Sports and Online Journalism courses.
Steiner is a former editor and reporter at The Washington Post where he was a founder of The League, an NFL-focused news and discussion platform. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received a master’s in journalism and Ph.D in media and communication studies from Temple University. His research focuses on media rituals and techno-cultural convergence.
Recently he sat down with the Rowan Blog to discuss his passion for sports writing, teaching, and his research. The following is a excerpt from the Q & A:
“One of the things I noticed while teaching journalism, was that the training undergraduates got didn’t seem to match the skills I knew they would need for contemporary news reporting.
To explore that apparent disparity, I conducted numerous interviews with sports reporters and editors at media companies like ESPN, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports. I asked them all a simple question: What skills do you look for when you hire new reporters out of college?
I then conducted a content analysis of the sports journalism curricula being taught at American universities. Based on my findings I created a curriculum to ‘bridge the gap’ between what was being taught in schools and what was being sought by employers.
That curriculum is now the basis of my Sports Journalism II class here at Rowan, and it informs my philosophy for our Sports Communication & Media Program. Our researched balance of knowledge, professionalism, and practical training in contemporary media tools is what makes Rowan’s Bachelor of Sports degree unique.”
On Tuesday afternoons, Miguel Martinez, a junior at Rowan University, drives from Glassboro to Northwestern Philadelphia to teach photography to high school students. He shows them camera settings, how to frame shots, and sends them out to document the surrounding area.
“Philadelphia is a fun neighborhood,” said Martinez. “There’s a lot to see, so I just take them outside sometimes.”
Martinez, a Radio, Television and Film major with minors in Journalism and Advertising, is also a photographer for The Whit. He hopes to pass on some of his love of photojournalism to his students and teach them “how to compose stories through photos.”
His passion for photography started while in high school when he joined an WHYY after-school program. He was later accepted as an intern in their photojournalism department, where he met freelance photographer Jessica Kourkounis. With the help of Kourkounis, he participated in the apprentice program for The New York Times and is also currently freelancing for WHYY.
He recently published his first article, which involved not only shooting photos, but writing in English, which is not his first language.
“I was really happy that I accepted the challenge,” he said. “By the end of article, I was really excited I have actually accomplished my first publication.”
Photos by Miguel Martinez
Emily Kostic is Director of Marketing for Canvs AI. She graduated from Rowan University in 2010 with her B.A. in Journalism and a specialization in Women’s Studies.
Briefly describe your job. What do you do on a daily basis?
I work for a tech startup focused on AI-powered topical and emotional analysis of social media content. In short, some of the biggest media and entertainment companies in the world (e.g. HBO, NBCU, Viacom, et al) pay for access to our data so they can better understand how people feel about the content they’re putting out into the world.
As Director of Marketing, I’m in charge of the overall branding, positioning, and lead gen for the company. Essentially, one of my core responsibilities is to incentivize and encourage adoption of our products among relevant key stakeholders throughout the media and entertainment industry.
What is one thing you love about your current job?
I thoroughly enjoy working in tech. It’s extremely interesting to me to work for a company that’s working hard to redefine how companies tell stories and develop new revenue opportunities using our data.
What is one of the biggest challenges of your current job?
Explaining what I do for a living when I come home to visit family. Ha, kidding! But seriously, in general, I think working in tech can be a bit of a challenge. You’re essentially raising your hand to say that you want to push forward the “traditional” way of thinking for any given industry. That can often lead to a lot of head scratching from the people around you. Don’t get me wrong — that can certainly be fun — but often times, constantly having to explain (and re-explain) your position on an entire industry can be a bit exhausting.
Photos and Article By Amanda Palma
On Oct. 5, Rowan journalism students traveled to Washington D.C. and covered one of the fiercest political debates of this generation – the Senate vote on the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Near the Capitol, students covered protests and rallies both against and in favor of Kavanaugh alongside professional journalists from around the world.
Akenda Steward, a broadcast journalism student, said talking to people in person gave her a deeper understanding of the news.
“I mean I’m watching it from a T.V., [but] this is my first time ever coming to D.C., covering a story like this,” said Steward. “So to hear other women share their experience, it was very chilling.”
The students conducted dozens of interviews, shot photos and video, and recorded stand-ups with the iconic building in the background, all of which they can add to their professional portfolios and resume reels.
“My first favorite part was probably doing the actual stand-up, because in that moment I felt like it was so professional, and it felt right, said student Jaryd Leady. “It felt like that’s what I was supposed to be doing.”
How can student journalists cover more away games?
After meeting at a recent event designed to create a stronger network of college news media in New Jersey, Gabianelli and Campana agreed to try out a co-publishing arrangement. Reporters for The Montclarion cover home games at Montclair State and reporters for The Whit do the same for home games at Rowan.
“I think it’s important to be able to get out of your comfort zone and collaborate or work with people you aren’t familiar with,” said Campana. “It’s definitely something that I hope happens more in the future.”