(Left to right) Darryl Tucker, Craig Adams, Jeff Harris, and Julie Wallace were the guest journalist speakers on the first panel.

Event offered students info on journalism, educational opportunities on campus

Kerri Klatt

Staff Writer

Emma Roth   

Abigail Doane

JRNM 151 Students

“The freedom of your country rests of the freedom of the press,” said Jeff Harris, news director of WEWS/ Channel-5 news, on April 26, as he addressed students, faculty, staff, and community members at Lorain County Community College’s Press Day event.

  Press Day was sponsored by The Division of Arts and Humanities, The Center for Teaching Excellence, The Student Life, The Student Senate, and The Collegian in the College Commons Center. The event highlighted the various media courses offered at the college and to encourage students to pursue their passion in media careers.

Attendees of the event were able to engage in two panel discussions. The first panel discussion included Darryl Tucker, managing editor of The Morning Journal, Julie Wallace, managing editor of The Chronicle-Telegram, Craig Adams, News director at WEOL Radio, and Harris. This panel of experienced media professionals encouraged students to follow their dreams and discussed how to stay competitive in a changing environment as well as shared their own experience in media careers. “There will always be news,” said Wallace, “The story hasn’t changed, the platform has.” The students were also encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity as well as drive to work hard.

Several students shared experiences with the various social media platforms. One Amherst High School student, Shane Schauffer shared his experience using the YouTube channel. “I am a comedian,” said Schauffer.

Students’ discussions often asked of internships, age restrictions, and job opportunities.

Attendees toured the LCCC TV studio, The Boom Radio station, and The Collegian’s newspaper office. At the Boom Radio station, Matt Melvin, station manager, and Tim Bradley, production director, record students introducing songs on-air.

The second panel discussion included five former LCCC students.  LCCC alumni’s Drew Scofield of WEWS TV Channel 5, Eric Bonzar of The Morning Journal, Cassie Neiden of GIE Media Inc., Kristin Hohman of The Chronicle-Telegram, and a public relations representative for the United Way, Ryan Aroney. Each alumnus discussed their paths to journalism and how LCCC has assisted them in that path. This panel included Cassidy Neiden whom started her media career at LCCC. Neiden had considered a career in journalism after the market crash but was told by many to not to enter the career field. Neiden, however, could not ignore her passion for media and enrolled in journalism classes at LCCC while working at the school newspaper. Neiden is now a managing editor at GIE Media Inc.

Kristin Hohman, copy-editor for The Chronicle Telegram, was a pre-med major at Ohio State University prior to changing to an English major. Hohman encouraged students to follow their passions regardless of challenges. Eric Bonzar, a journalist at “The Morning Journal,” had told students that school was not always his priority and had described himself a ‘bad student’. When the professors at LCCC showed interest in Bonzar, his priorities changed. “The teachers found value in my writing and work,” said Bonzar.  He was encouraged to write by professors at LCCC and began to write for “The Collegian”. “Learn it now,” said Bonzar speaking to students, “Take advantage of everything that is set before you.” Ryan Aroney, a freelance journalist and PR representative at the United Way, had a similar experience with his education but found his passion and pursued. Drew Scofield, digital producer for News Channel 5, was another panelist. “Journalism is not a narrow field,” said Scofield, “There is a lot you can do with it.” Scofield spoke of vast opportunities that journalism students have after graduation. Free pizza, coffee, cookies, and soda were also available for lunch for those who attended.