Clearing the Cobwebs: Athas Presentation

March 15, 2012

It’s always encouraging to meet a young, successful journalist. Especially people like myself whose  perception of succeeding in the journalism field was undoubtedly foggy, with fears of  slim job opportunities and filled with rejection.

Eric Athas, a 2008 UMass Journalism graduate, diminished my fears, shinned a new light and gave me new hope. In Athas’ presentation, Athas stressed ‘the traditional standard steps of working your way up’ in the journalism field is a fallacy in order to become a successful journalist.

Although, Athas states that there is nothing wrong with wanting to pursue ‘the traditional standard steps of working your way up’ but  it’s not the only option. Athas is living proof and a prime example of a journalist that found an alternative solution. Instead of following ‘the stereotypical steps’ novice journalist need to do in order to be successful.

The beginning of Athas’ presentation, I was in awe when I discovered that Athas work experience included:

It’s very impressive that someone only four years out of college could gain this much experience. Especially since many journalists wait years upon years to achieve those kinds of experiences.

As Athas continued further on with his presentation, I learned that it is attainable for a young journalist to gain those experiences.

The secret I learned is to fully engage yourself with an array of journalism internships before college graduation.

When Athas graduated his resume included:

Many future employee were impressed with Athas resume which made him an ideal candidate for any journalism position.

And within a couple months after graduation, November of 2008,  Athas’ assiduous portfolio landed him a job/ editor at The Washington Post.

When Athas spoke about his experience at the Washington Post, it was very pleasing to hear him reminisce about his experience because he spoke with great enthusiasm and charisma.

One of Athas fondest memories while at the Washington Post, was the night of Bin Laden’s death. Athas recalled it was one of those dull nights in the newsroom and everybody was packing to go home. Then the unexpected happen, all hands were called on deck and the quaint newsroom instantly became pure chaos.

Another fond memory was when Athas happened to be present on a spot breaking story. The story later developed and unraveled into having major twists and turns.

Currentlt Athas is working on a new project  for NPR, that uses geotargeting on the NPR Facebook page and is also a digital news specialist at NPR’s Digital Services division in Boston.

Lastly, one piece of advice I’ll take from Athas’ presentation is to never stop thinking, never stop challenging yourself and blogging. Athas is a firm believer that blogging is crucial. Athas ephasized ‘mastering the art of blogging’ helped him become a stronger and better journalist. Overall, Athas’ presentation was uplifting, appealing and informative.


One Response to “Clearing the Cobwebs: Athas Presentation”

  1. stevejfox Says:

    Melissa — A little long for a blog post. This can be tightened in sports and the sentence structure is a little clunky in spots.


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