News media professionals speak at Ridgeview for Journalism Day

A panelist of current and former journalists and educators present insights on journalism and how it’s changing in today’s world at Ridgeview High School on Feb. 1.

Bryana Lozoya, Digital Editor

Ridgeview High School’s journalism program hosted Journalism Day Feb. 1 where current and former news media professionals spoke on their experiences in the field and gave advice to high school students interested in journalism.

With Erin Auerbach, the advisor for the Renegade Rip at Bakersfield College, as the moderator for the event, speakers from various fields in journalism told anecdotes and were brutally honest about the realities of their profession.

From professors at BC to former and current journalists, panelists included Christina Lopez, Olivia Garcia, Paige Atkison, Mark Nessia, Jennifer Berger, Nick Ellis, and Erin Briscoe-Clarke.

Nick James, the Sports Director for KGET and Kelly Broderick, the Digital Producer for 23ABC were also among those on the panel.

Bryana Lozoya
The panelists from Journalism Day pose for a photo in Ridgeview High School’s auditorium.

Many things the panelists had to say were similar to one another.

They stressed the importance of students needing to have good communication and people skills and diversifying their education and skill set because of the growing requirement from news industries wanting journalists who can work across various mediums.

They also emphasized the importance of making connections with those already in the field, finding internships and mentors, and job shadowing to gain experience while a student.

“If you start reaching out to people now, you’re already going to have those relationships when you graduate,” Broderick said.

When speaking about some of the realities of working as a journalist, especially as a broadcast journalist, Briscoe-Clarke, a former news anchor for KBAK, outlined sacrifices to expect from the profession.

She said to expect to have to work holidays and weird hours.

Bryana Lozoya
Erin Briscoe-Clarke points at the crowd of students from local high schools attending Journalism Day.

Briscoe-Clarke also said to expect traveling, and the starting salary not to be that great.

She spoke about how her parents helped with her rent when she first started working as a broadcast journalist, and how it was a while before she moved up and made more money.

For Lopez, after graduating from the University of California Berkley she accepted a job offer across the country in New York City where she did not know anyone.

Working in print journalism is a different reality from a broadcast.

Jennifer Burger, the adviser for CSUB’s “The Runner,” told of the unfortunate realities of working in print.

People get laid off and printers go out of business, forcing newspapers to find another business that will print their product.

Despite the difficulties and sacrifices that are expected in the new industries, many on the panel spoke on their passion for the job.

Bryana Lozoya
Digital producer for 23ABC Kelly Broderick gives advice to high school students about attracting potential employers.

“You do it because you want to be a storyteller, you want to make a difference and be a part of a community…and tell their stories,” Briscoe-Clarke said.

Christina Lopez, an adjunct journalism professor at BC, later said, “You get into it because you love it.”

James added, “You get into this because you’re passionate about it…I got the greatest gig in the world, I get paid to watch sports.”

“You’re writing the first draft of history, that’s what journalists do. The stuff that you produce, and a record is what people are going to look back on,” Paige Atkison, former editor in chief for the “Renegade Rip,” said.