Saturday, September 22, 2012

Post Reporter Visits Class

Taylor Shapiro (thumbs up) writes obits and covers education.

Taylor Shapiro, one of the Washington Post's youngest reporters, spoke to Writing for Communication students on Sept. 20. Student reactions follow:

Sarah M
I thought Taylor Shapiro was great! Easy to talk to, had some really valuable points about the industry (getting your foot int he door, starting at entry level, inserting creativity in little ways), plus he was funny.

I really liked Taylor Shapiro. I thought his advice on really having to dig and take the initiative when finding stats for stories was great. Working from the bottom up was a good lesson he explained too. Plus, he was a very funny person.

The humor he had in person was able to come through when writing obituaries. In addition, he had a good understanding of who his audience was.

I thought Taylor Shapiro was a really good speaker. He seemed a lot more passionate about obituaries than main stream reporting but I liked how he stressed that you have to take any opportunity to "get your foot in the door" that is presented to you.

Taylor was a great speaker: very enthusiastic, engaging, and really knew his stuff. He gave me a sense of comfort and inspiration due to his two main points: dedication and persistance will get you anywhere. Thank you for bringing him in.

I thought Taylor was great -- fun and engaging but extremely informative as well. I think his casual, humorous style helped us relate to and identify with him. I learned a lot from his explaining how obituaries and news stories get written and how they differ. For example, the different writing styles and processes of finding stories and sources.

Funny and insightful!

Sarah W - I really enjoyed Taylor's discussion with the class. It was really interesting to have a perspective from someone who hasn't been in the news business since everyone wrote on typewriters. I think it was helpful how he described his process getting a job, and how that even now, that it's still possible to get into the newspaper business starting from the bottom. I think his tip about learning how to do coding or something not everyone is able to on the computer was a useful tip that people in our class should heed if they'd like to have a future in journalism. 

I really enjoyed Taylor Shapiro's guest speech.  He was very insightful, and open to any and all questions.  He brought a certain amount of humor to journalism that you often don't see, which I found very refreshing.  I also found it interesting that his background was in English.  You could tell through his writing that he appreciates style, and holds his writing to a relatively high degree of creative integrity.  Awesome all around!!

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