Taylor Shapiro received high marks from almost all of us. Many people commented on how they felt that he was extremely personable. Many also liked how relatable he seemed because of how young he was with an important position at the Post. The highlights of what Taylor taught us include: the importance of taking risks in journalism (think back to his Doritos obit), the importance of building trust with your subject (think back to his interview style with the UVA victim), and the importance of taking initiative with your career (think back to the way Taylor began interviewing students after the VT shooting). Taylor left of us with his words of wisdom: "Always be yourself in everything you do, even journalism."
Greg and Judy Romano were the married couple that came to class and taught us everything they know about broadcast journalism. Greg works as the communications director at NOAA's National Weather Service, which is funny because the night he came in to teach us there was an impending hurricane. His wife Judy is a senior communications official at the U.S. General Services Administration. Our survey showed that we really appreciated their presence in class too. The videos that Judy showed us of herself reporting were a really big hit. The best advice that Greg and Judy gave us in terms of broadcast was, "You are never late until the 'on air' light clicks on."
Michele Kayal introduced us to the world of feature writing. She did not strike the class as outspoken as Taylor or Greg and Judy were, but the class did value the nuts and bolts of feature writing that she taught us. Remember for feature writing, leads don't have to be inverted pyramids but are rather modeled after hourglasses. You start with the broad, get very in depth, and then move back to the more broad. Michele really provided creative students a place to grow in the class.
David Culver also came by to speak to us about broadcast. It was amazing that he was able to meet us for our late night class because he wakes up so early to be an anchor on the early morning news. David taught how to really make our journalism stories still feel personal. He really showed that by telling us about how he pitched his story about going back to Cuba with his grandmother. He, much like Taylor, stressed the importance of taking risks with our projects.
Kelly Costello and Jordan Haverly, were our last guest speakers of the semester. They are actually alums of this class. Their talks primarily focussed on landing a job in communications after we graduate. Kelly stressed that the best thing you can do to look after your career is to ask for informational interviews at lots of different companies. Jordan told us the best way to secure a job after college is to use clubs, past internships and even fraternities and sororities. If we play our cards right we could be sitting in their seats one day talking to next generation of AU Eagles!