On July 7th, at New York University, the Post met two students who have developed their own careers in Journalism. The purpose of this interview was to hear how NYU students, especially in the field of journalism, have paved their career paths by developing characteristics and skills through a variety of experiences. One of the interviewees were Yeom Sang-min, a junior in the NYU Gallatin Program, studying food and travel narratives, incorporating journalism, food studies, creative writings, and photography. He is currently working at Washington Square News, which is the university’s newspaper. The Post also met Yang Jung-yun, a journalism major in the class of 2014. She is currently working at CNN as a freelancer in a Production Assistant team. So, here are their stories begin.
Q: Why did you decide to become a student reporter although you are not specifically in a journalism major?
A: Actually, I entered NYU as a journalism major. Then I transferred after freshman year because I found journalism curriculum is restrictive. Journalism majors at NYU must double major within the CAS (College of Arts and Sciences). When I first came to NYU, I was going to major in journalism and metropolitan studies. Then, I started taking metropolitan studies classes and found them extremely boring. Meanwhile, after taking some food major courses, I realized how passionate I am about food. So naturally, I started to take more classes in the Food Studies Department of Steinhardt. Thus, Gallatin was the right choice for me since I could take courses in any of the various departments. However, I did not forget that journalism was my path. I had wanted to be a journalist since I was young. It came naturally that one of the WSN writers, Marina, recommended me to join as a writer as well. She invited me to a house meeting of WSN and after that I applied to WSN as a student reporter.
Q: What did you learn by working as a WSN reporter? Were you able to build your professionalism as a journalist through this work?
A: Washington Square News is an almost daily production, as we publish on paper every day from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, we do an online edition. So it is a huge time commitment, especially if you are one of the managerial people, like the managing editor or editor in chief, because you spend lots of hours here. They stay up to three o'clock in the morning jut getting everything set up and sending stuff to the printer. So you definetly develop a sense of commitment. Such commitment is one of the most important quality that you can learn as a journalist. You need to know your duty. Also, your writing should be good. If they are not, the articles are not going to be published.
Q: As a journalist, what do you think is the most important attitude and value one should have?
A: I definitely think curiosity toward the world and eagerness to learn is the most important thing as a journalist. It a cliché thing to say, but I genuinely think it is true. For me, when I first wanted to be writer, I wanted to be a sports writer, because I was obsessed with soccer. All I wanted to do was write about soccer. In senior year in high school I studied abroad in Spain, and then I traveled across Europe; started seeing the world little more. Then, I realized there is a big world out there to write about and you can learn from. That opened my eyes to the different types of writing, especially travel writing. Then, I came to New York City and I realized how much I like food and writing about food. Through WSN, I became certain how passionate I am about food and the restaurant industry. I mean who does not like food? It is awesome. Thus, I believe curiosity and willingness to learn are the most important things that a journalist should have.
Q: What is your second major? And how does it relate to your career?
A: My second major is music, concentrating on music analysis. I picked that specific major because I thought it was the most helpful major to my journalistic plans. Because I learned music analysis, I could go more in-depth with sound and the quality of its natural flow. Also, I can say for sure that learning it has really helped me while working in this industry, since our department takes care of lots of videos, such as news packages. Thus, whenever I walk by, and hear an odd or otherwise noticeable sound, I definitely mention it to them and they feel that it is helpful because they might not have been aware that, for example, a certain segment had a different volume from another segment.Therefore, they were able to fix these little arrangements. That is not actually my job or duty but it helps me to improve my skills in journalism. In a newsroom, cooperation and team work come into play. The better the news package is, the better a news show becomes.
Q: What was your role at CBS? How did that experience help you?
A: I was at CBS as a news path intern. News path is like a center where all the news comes in before you distribute them through the affiliates and different shows at CBS. So I had lots of interaction with affiliate stations. I hoped to send out video packages to them. I also went out a lot with cameramen and acted as a producer, asking interview questions, and developing the stories. I was actually invited to different CBS news shows, such as CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning and Money Watch. I was able to sit in the control room and watch how they direct news. This internship really helped me a lot because I got to see both the producing side and the directing side. It really separated the roles for me, and the separation actually made it clear what I am interested in. So I wanted the directing style in news production. Then, I decided not to stay at CBS anymore because they offered me a production job, which was not what I wanted.
Q: How did your experiences at the internships and WSN help you with your current job at CNN?
A: When I first came into NYC, I obviously had no journalism background. So I was not thinking of getting an internship. In the first semester, I had to adjust to the city first. But at the same time, I still wanted to build portfolio for my resume. So I began writing for Washington Square News, which is NYU newspaper. And I started to create radio shows for WNYU, which is the NYU radio station. These were great to have on my resume when I applied to WCBS, which is a local CBS affiliate. When I got there, they recommended me to CBS, the corporate headquarters. Then I got bumped into a different department, and that is how I kept building my resume and experience. After graduation, I think they liked my experience from various departments. I was in radio. I was a writer. I was in TV And they liked that. That is why they wanted me to join their staff.
Na Soo-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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