A Visit From Tara Conry

There is nothing like getting journalism advice from someone who is currently in the field doing it. It’s one thing to read it in a textbook or lecture notes, but seeing someone apply what you learn daily is refreshing and reassuring.

Tara Conry, a community journalist for Newsday, spoke to my journalism 320 class on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. She offered advice about using mobile technology to your advantage, scoring a job and internships, and becoming a better journalist in general. Here are my top three takeaways:

IPhone Swag:

Technology is changing and so is how we do journalism. Conry says that using your phone for mobile journalism “frees you up” and is the “future” of journalism. She encourages students to experiment with new apps on your phone and master ones like Instagram, Twitter, iMovie, and Scribble live. I learned that I can be at an event and use Scribble live to pool all my photos, videos, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. into one place that builds a newsfeed of the event for you. This is kind of like a more visual way of live tweeting that complies all the information in one place for you that you can go back and use to build a story. This is a platform that I can’t wait to play around with and try.

Experience. Experience. Experience:

While grades are important, Conry says that one of the most important things for a novice journalist to have under his/her belt is experience. “Put yourself out there. Be a sponge. Take risks,” advised Conry. “Always be learning,” she added. The reason why internships are important is because they help you gain knowledge that you can’t from textbooks and it can possibly lead to a job.

Dare to be Different:

At Newsday the focus is on Long Island and community. As Conry said you might be covering a bunch of homecomings, graduations, proms, so you have to find a way to make the story “pop.” In order to be successful with this one has to plan a head. Conry suggests making phone calls before the event and having a plan once you get there. Being well prepared and organized are skills that were emphasized to master sooner rather than later.

Stony Brook, NY- Tara Conry took a selfie with me at the end of the lecture on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.
Stony Brook, NY- Tara Conry took a selfie with me at the end of the lecture on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.

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