By Annemarie LePard—
I feel like a Sim right now who’s energy level is sinking drastically low into the red. After a full week of constant meetings and non-stop networking coming to an end, I no longer have anything that is keeping me going and I am officially crashing as I return to normalcy. Despite my tiresome attitude towards the long days and endless walking, I have nothing but praise for this program and for the giving me the opportunity to have the experience of a lifetime.
At the start of our journey, I was a bit skeptical that we would mainly be crossing paths with PR professionals (and I was right) and since I am a journalism major I was afraid I would not be getting the most out of this program after paying a decent amount of money on top of Hofstra’s unreasonable tuition; but visiting in-house PR, like Republic Records, and agency PR, like Sunshine Sachs, allowed me to greater understand the industry of public relations to which I discovered that many PR professionals tend to have a background in journalism. So not only was I educated in the career, but I found another outlet of the media world that I can potentially be a part of one day. Visiting the journalism industries was impactful of course, but I believe being genuinely exposed to public relations added a whole other element to this trip. It broadened my horizons and I actually found an interest in it that I am considering a minor.
Going into this trip, I really had no idea what aspect of journalism I wanted to pursue, at least what I thought I wanted to do did not exist outside my imagination, and thankfully it does. WPIX-TV Channel 11 broke the barrier for me this trip between satisfaction and potential. Many of our meetings satisfied my taste for the industry, but I didn’t get the feeling of potential, like a potential internship and eventually career. Whenever it comes to moments like these, I base everything off of a gut feeling, an inexplainable feeling. It isn’t something I feel everyday and quite often I find myself searching for it. It is sort of my way of proving, or confirming, that I am doing the right thing and I am where I am supposed to be in life at that time. Until Thursday, nothing spoke to me like I wanted it to, but then PIX11 came along and that was all I needed. Not only did PIX11 give me hope for my future, but for the future of journalism. They are choosing to cover local stories that require a change for the benefit of the public. Although it may not be a national station, it is a station that is changing lives. Mike Rezendez, former journalist for The Boston Globe, said, “This is not an industry where you will make money, but it is where you can make a change.” I could not agree more with his statement. Even though I would like to make a substantial salary, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you are making a difference. If it weren’t for this one visit, I would never have considered local news or human interest stories like these. I probably would have ended up at NBC covering the never-ending political discussions when all I really want to be is connecting with humans who need my help. It is my job as a journalist to give a voice to the voiceless. WPIX is a place where I can do that and I hope to be able to one day.
I could continue to ramble on and on about WPIX and my passion for journalism, but I can save it for a later conversation. Besides discovering my interests, the connections we made and the advice the alum and employers gave about applying for internships, working in the industry and practically anything else you can imagine made the entire trip worthwhile. I am now graced with the knowledge of those who have come before and their wisdom is invaluable. Without their expertise and openness, I would not be able to say that I feel [slightly more] prepared when it comes to applying for internships and jobs.
Between all of the advice and interactions, I can honestly say that I have not only become a better journalist, but a better human because of this trip. It is not every day an opportunity like this comes your way. Like Rolando from WPIX said, “Take every opportunity whether you think you can or not and run with it.” I ran with this one and I am eternally grateful for Professor Morosoff and Professor Gershon for planning and taking care of us this entire journey from the very beginning until the end. Like they say in the film industry, “That’s a wrap!”