Alumni Q & A: Waldy Diez, Staff Writer at Press of Atlantic City

Waldy Diez is currently a staff writer for Press of Atlantic City. She graduated from Rowan in 2013 with a B.A. in Journalism and a Minor in Spanish and International Studies. She has a M.S. in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University. Follow her on Twitter at @_waldy 

Describe your current job and what you do on a daily basis?
I’m a staff writer on the breaking news/digital team covering Atlantic,Cape May, Cumberland and lower Ocean Counties.

Photo: Erin Grugan

On a daily basis, I rewrite press releases from police and event coordinators, and call the necessary people related to that release, if necessary. If breaking news happens, I’ll go out to the scene, live tweet photos and videos, and try to talk to the Chief, Captain, or whoever is in charge at the scene to figure out what happened.

I also schedule social media for Twitter and Facebook, do push alerts and help figure out how to display the stories on the website to reach the greatest audience possible.

What’s something you love about your job?
I honestly love pretty much everything about my job. I’ve returned to writing and reporter after producing TV for nearly two years, and it’s the best decision I have ever made. It allows me to use almost all of the skills I’ve learned in previous years – reporting, writing, photo, video and social media. The Press of AC also has podcasts, but I haven’t gotten involved in that yet.

What skill(s) have you learned at your job that you believe will help you or has helped you in the field you are in?
This may sound silly, especially considering I’m still pretty young and live in a digital world, but I’ve learned how to report using only my iPhone. I take photos and video, edit the video on my phone, upload the video to our server from my phone, and sometimes file my story via email. I live tweet photos and videos and can even live stream video from a service we use that connects directly to our website if it’s prepared ahead of time.

What is your biggest challenge at your job?
My biggest challenge at work is coming up with my own ideas for stories to cover. Since I’m on the breaking news desk, I do a lot of press release rewrites, but sometimes there are slow days, and it would nice to have something concrete to cover. I’m getting better at it, but it’s still a struggle.

How has Rowan’s journalism curriculum prepared you for this job?
Rowan’s journalism curriculum gave me a good understanding about journalism and how it works. It taught me how to write properly and that the AP Stylebook is your best friend. It gave me the necessary skills to get a job shortly after graduating, then accepted into grad school to learn more about video and broadcast journalism.

Has social media played a large role in your career so far? How has it helped/hurt you?
Social media has played a large role so far. Half of my job is making sure the website stays up to date with new content, posting to social media and driving people to our website. We have analytics websites, and it’s helped me truly understand people’s social media habits. People truly are active at 9 a.m.noon3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Those stats help me decide when to post important stories to social media, as well as send push alerts, to get the maximum audience we can.

Do you have any advice for aspiring journalists/journalism majors?
Say “yes” to everything, but don’t be afraid to say “no” either. This will allow you to try and learn new things that you might like, or not like.

Ask questions if you don’t understand something. If you don’t understand what you’re talking about, the reader/viewer won’t understand, either.

Get sleep and eat properly. This seems silly, but it really does affect you. Nobody wants to work with somebody who is hungry, cranky or tired.

Lastly, have fun! If you’re not having fun, you’ll hate your job. It’ll lead to burn out which may lead to illness, you not enjoying time out with friends or your life in general.

E.J. Aguado ’13 leads social media strategies for MLB

E.J. Aguado, a 2013 graduate who works as a new media strategist for MLB Advanced Media, is featured in the Summer 2017 issue of Rowan Magazine.

Aguado develops social media strategies for the Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers, Braves, Orioles, Indians, Twins and Rays and credits his experience writing for The Whit and his Sport Journalism courses as key to his career.

“Writing is super important for social media,” says Aguado, “That’s why I think they were impressed with me. My job didn’t exist 15 years ago. How people worked with the teams three years ago is completely different from what happens today. There are so many opportunities.”

Read the full article below.

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Journalism Student Lands Sixth Internship

Leon Purvis on set of his summer internship at GMA.

Leon Purvis, a double major in Journalism and Radio, Television and Film, recently landed his sixth internship. In Fall 2017, he will be at NBC’s Today Show.

Purvis, who was recently featured in a profile on the Rowan University website, has completed internships at 6ABC Action News and iHeart Media in Philadelphia, TownSquare Media in Atlantic City, The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles, and Good Morning America in New York City.

Read the full article here.

White House Reporter Talks with Students about Covering President Trump

Matthew Nussbaum, a White House reporter for Politico, spoke to students in The Publishing Industry class. (Photo: Carly Mathes)

By Carly Mathes

What is it like to be a White House reporter covering President Donald Trump?

“It’s been this insane stretch since January,” said Matthew Nussbaum, a reporter for Politico, who was a guest speaker in The Publishing Industry class at Rowan University. “The Trump coverage has been all encompassing.”

Nussbaum talked to students about the challenges of the 24/7 news cycle, being banned from Trump campaign events, and the stress of covering a president who can break news at any moment on his Twitter account.

“It’s the story of the century, and it’s not going away,” he said.

Nussbaum, a native of Haddonfield, NJ, started his professional career with a summer internship at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, where he said he learned the fundamentals of reporting. After graduating from Yale University with a degree in history, he went on to intern at the Denver Post, where he covered two death penalty cases. After a short stint as a suburban reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico hired Nussbaum to cover the federal budget, a subject he admits he didn’t know much about. But he said that Capitol Hill is a great place for a young reporter to learn.

“The First Amendment is a great thing,” he said. “You can walk up to anyone and shove your iPhone in their face.”

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Nussbaum covered the debates and primaries, then traveled with Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence on the campaign trail. On November 8, when Donald Trump was elected president, Nussbaum said he was “as surprised as everyone else, even though I was covering it.”

Nussbaum told students that he believes young reporters have an advantage in the news business because they are open to technology and “knowing how to take pictures on your phone, as basic as it is, is really important.”

“Have an optimistic outlook on this industry, even if it seems like the numbers aren’t adding up right now,” he said. “Be willing to get out there. There is a lot of opportunity for young people who are hungry and willing to work a lot of hours.”

The Whit Wins Five New Jersey Collegiate Press Awards

The Whit, Rowan University’s student newspaper and website, won five awards in the 2016-2017 New Jersey Collegiate Press Association college newspaper contest.

Congratulations to the following members of The Whit staff:

Third Place, News Writing – Kyle Sullender, Elevated lead levels found in Rowan water

First Place, Arts & Entertainment/Critical Writing – Dylan Maslowski, The return of Pokémon Go, and why it should matter; Walker Weekly

First Place, Photography – Amanda Palma

Third Place, Photography – Nicole Mingo

Third Place, Layout and Design – Nicole Mingo, Taylor Henry, Sarah Hockel, Jessica Mounce, Rowan aims to set Guinness World Record for most foam fingers waved; Love Shouldn’t Hurt Escalation of relationship violence addressed at ‘That’s Not Love’ workshop

Congratulations to the 2017 Rowan University Journalism Medallion Winners

The 2017 Rowan University Journalism Medallion recipients: Kelley Davis and Kyle Sullender

On April 1, the Journalism Department at Rowan University presented its highest student awards for academic excellence.

Kelley Davis, a dual major in Journalism and Public Relations, was awarded the Claudia Cuddy Medallion for Excellence in Editing and Publishing. This award honors a student who excels in editing and/or page layout.

Kyle Sullender, the Editor-in-Chief of The Whit, was awarded the Jack Gillespie Award for Excellence in Journalism. This medallion is given to a student who demonstrates journalism skills, commitment to quality campus publications, and dedication to the art and craft of writing.

Congratulations to Kelley and Kyle.

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