I market a lot of events where I work at C.G. O’kelly Library so I often know about different things going on before a lot of other people. I was asked recently to help market guest Speaker Nick Sturdivant of Fox8 News. Librarian and Access Services Coordinator Mr. Forrest Foster and Dr. Brian Blount Chair of the Communications & Media Studies Department collaborated together to host the event. The event was open to everyone and particulary advertised to students and faculty, but you know people only want to attend stuff if they are reeeeeeeealy interested…or their is food. And more often than I’d hope, students usually come if they are excited about the topic, their buddies attend or their professor is offering some type of class credit insentive. I on the other hand was a curious observer, a crasher of sorts.
Sturdivant is a Reporter and MMJ, which I learned stands for Multimedia Journalist–meaning he does it all. He came to speak in the library to (mainly) Mass Communication students about what he does in his career. I an not an enrolled student at Winston-Salem State University, not a Mass Com major, not looking for a new career in journalism or tv, (I was an Art/Graphic Design major in college). I don’t really know much about what goes into making the news “happen” on tv, it just does and I watch it. I do know that there is a process and that there has to be a lot of effort to get the news to the people. Either way I was still interested in the talk. Sturdivant called his job “stressful but rewarding” in that he has to meet a lot of deadlines, tell the story and tell it in an interesting way that isn’t bogged down with too much info but that does have enough for audiences to understand what is being covered.
I learned a bit of news jargon words like “MOS” means a Man on the Street type interview and what that a “Standup” is part of package with reporter on screen reading/presenting information. Our guest speaker shared some links on screen for the audience to view. We were able to see the standup of reporter Joe Little and afterward Sturdivant asked us what we noticed about the footage we just watched. I even chimed in when he asked people to state things that worked well for Mr. Little in this YouTube video like his use of the GoPro to get an undershot of a glass of water and added graphics on footage to tell the story along with his good dash of humor and personality on screen. Which is great because it is easy to get nervous. Sturdivant did say that walking up to people who he didn’t know could be unnerving depending on the persons response to him attempting to interview them. Sometimes it can go bad, but in his experience it usually goes well.
We learned about the role of technology in the news now. Like how with all the changes and progressions in technology there are apps that can help record video on phones right when news happens and files can be uploaded easier than ever. Sturdivant says he pretty much stays “attached” to his smartphone, and prefers using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to catch breaking news as opposed to making telephone calls to people to gather information though he does still do that too, just not as much as journalists had to not long ago. A lot of the time a MMJ will have to shoo their own story and they have so many way now like Go Pros and Drones that can get angles to show more than we ever used to be able to see. Technology is definitely important in news today. Technology and putting yourself out there are probably the most important things in getting the story.
At the end Sturdivant did a little Q&A. I kind of hung back on this part because I expected the students who were actually pursuing this career to have much to ask but I was pretty glad to listen all the same. He said he had recent come back from vacation and I think its great that on his return he decided to give back and speak to the students. Really I don’t know how long I was listening, it didn’t seem long to me since I enjoyed the presentation. Their are going to be more guest speakers and other type of events coming up and I’ll have to help market them so I’ll probably crash those too. Since I work here and all, may as well take advantage of the opportunities!
Author: Luchrita Fulton