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WTVA multimedia reporter is among those graduating from UM School of Journalism and New Media with master’s degree

Posted on: May 7th, 2022 by ldrucker
Taylor Tucker graduated from UM in May of 2020. That year, she was hired as a multimedia journalist at WTVA in Tupelo. Now, the 2022 master's grad also works as the station's morning and weekend anchor.

Taylor Tucker graduated from UM in May of 2020. That year, she was hired as a multimedia journalist at WTVA in Tupelo. Now, the 2022 master’s grad also works as the station’s weekend morning anchor.

Taylor Tucker graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media in May of 2020. That year, she was hired as a multimedia journalist at WTVA in Tupelo and received a promotion her first year. Now earning her graduate degree, the 2022 grad also works as the weekend morning anchor on WTVA from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m.

“News has earned my heart,” Tucker said, “and I plan to continue my journey as a news anchor and reporter. It’s comforting to know I now have my master’s and plan to utilize it later in my career.”

Tucker is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared her Journey to Commencement.

Interim Dean Debora Wenger said one of the things that stands out about Tucker is her kindness.

“As a journalist, I know she will tell stories with compassion and care,” she said.

Wenger said Tucker is also one of the students who loves learning.

“She took advantage of opportunities to build her skills in the classroom and in the newsroom,” she said. “While still in graduate school, she started working as a reporter for WTVA in Tupelo, and the combination of professional experience and a master’s degree is going to take her far.”

The University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media has forged relationships with news directors across the state and around the region.

“When the folks at WTVA met Taylor, the saw huge potential and offered her a position,” Wenger said.

Tucker’s advice to fellow students: Take advantage of every opportunity. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to better perfect your craft.”

Read a previous story we wrote about Taylor below.

Taylor Tucker sits at the WTVA news desk.

Taylor Tucker sits at the WTVA news desk.

DaLakin Crawford
Oxford Stories
dkcrawfo@go.olemiss.edu

When interning as a freshman, Taylor Tucker said she felt as if she was not in the right career field because she didn’t know much about news stations and reporting in general and she was intimidated by the people who were already on the job.

“They were so much more advanced,” she said.

Taylor Tucker reporting for WTVA.

Taylor Tucker reporting for WTVA.

This made her feel behind and not in the right field. As a freshman, she became discouraged until she realized she was just getting started and still had more work to do.

When Tucker became a junior at UM, she received another internship. She knew what to expect and felt more confident because she realized she would learn as she goes.

While Tucker encountered some difficulties as an undergraduate on the road to becoming a journalist, she has also faced challenges as a young professional. One such challenge involved a February snowstorm.

It was Tucker’s first time reporting in those weather conditions. She had to drive on the roads and was afraid of what might happen. However, she managed to overcome that fear and get the job done.

“You never know what you are getting yourself into,” she said.

Each day, her job is different.  Tucker said she has to be mentally prepared because some days are challenging, but she wouldn’t want to do anything else.

DeAndria Turner, friend and former classmate of Tucker, graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2020 and now works as a news reporter at Fox61 in Hartford, Connecticut. She described Tucker as a hardworking person who never gives up and is always willing to learn more about her career so she can improve as a journalist. Turner said those qualities are what she admires most about Tucker.

“She is always looking for ways to improve her craft,” said Turner. “She is always looking for ways to become more creative and engage the audience.”

Turner said Tucker feels she can never be too good or know enough. Therefore, she watches other journalists and learns from them.

“She isn’t afraid to ask questions, and she holds herself and others accountable,” Turner said.

Tucker may be graduating with a second degree, but she’s not ready to stop learning, yet.

“I think we all need continual growth and lessons to keep becoming better journalists,” Turner said. “Especially so we don’t get complacent in our craft.”

You can read the full story at OxfordStories.net.

NewsWatch leader will pursue sports journalism and legal career

Posted on: May 3rd, 2022 by ldrucker
A. J. Norwood dreams of becoming a national sports reporter and an attorney. The graphic features hands stacking blocks with icons on them. The top block features a graduation cap.

He has dreams of rising in the ranks as a national sports reporter and becoming an attorney.

The sky is the limit for A.J. Norwood, a Batesville native whose desire and ability to achieve excellence left a memorable impression on University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media leaders. He is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared his Journey to Commencement.

“I came into college knowing that I wanted to be a broadcast journalist,” said Norwood. “More specifically, I knew I wanted to be a sports broadcaster.”

The broadcast journalism major with a minor in legal studies has worked for NewsWatch – UM’s live, student-run news broadcast, since his freshmen year.

“Auditioning for NewsWatch Ole Miss and getting hired there was pretty much how I got my start doing that,” he said. “It opened up a lot of opportunities for me due to the work that I put in, and I was blessed to be able to make things happen as a result of it.”

Norwood started out as a sports anchor with NewsWatch, then worked his way up to sports director, overseeing sports reporters and anchors.

He also served as a school ambassador, leadership and engagement ambassador, a Luckyday team leader and media specialist, and president of the University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists during his college career.

“Sports journalism was my first goal,” he said. “Being in college now and getting real-world experience, I know I can do news and sports.”

Student A.J. Norwood sits behind the anchor desk at NewsWatch. Norwood said he was drawn to UM because of its journalism program, and his older sister, Taylor, graduated from UM in 2020. 

He became interested in law during his sophomore year while taking JOUR 371 Communications Law, and decided to pursue legal studies as a minor. He said he’ll most likely pursue journalism first after graduating.

Assistant Dean Patricia Thompson, who leads the Student Media Center, said she has worked extensively with Norwood in her role as student media director and faculty adviser for the UMABJ.

“I recognized A.J.’s strengths as a young sports journalist and his leadership potential and helped recruit him for NewsWatch and UMABJ,” she said. “He’s here with NewsWatch five afternoons a week.

“Like many of our top high-achieving, hard-working students, he runs the risk of being tapped by different departments for too many campus activities. He rarely says no to any opportunity, and he still manages to excel in his work at the (Student Media Center), with UMABJ and in his internships.

“He was one of the students we sent to cover the Sugar Bowl for the SMC. I have no doubt he is going to have an awesome career. Any TV station in the nation would be lucky to land him.”  

LaReeca Rucker, adjunct instructional assistant professor of journalism, said Norwood showed great promise early on in a beginning journalism course.

“Some people stand out because they demand attention, and some stand out because they demonstrate a quiet excellence,” she said. “A.J. always knocked every assignment out of the ballpark. His work spoke for itself, and he took home the top honor in my class.”

Assistant Dean Jennifer Simmons said Norwood has the drive and determination for the goals he sets for himself.

“A.J. has the talent, skills, and personality to be a phenomenal broadcast journalist,” she said.

Interim Dean Debora Wenger said Norwood is a gifted communicator.

“I know he is going to be a success,” she said. “He has many talents, but he remains humble and willing to learn from everyone he encounters. No matter where he goes, he will be an asset to the organization as he was to our school — a good student, a good journalist, a good person.”

Norwood believes hands-on experience has given him the tools he needs for success.

“I think I am pretty prepared for whatever I need to do after college,” he said.

He also enjoys photography and has worked as a media specialist for Luckyday Residential College.

“I kind of do photography for both work and fun,” he said. “I figured out that it was something that I can be really good at if I just put in the time to do it.”

Norwood encourages students to pursue their interests in college.

“If there is something you are passionate about, believe in yourself and take that step,” he said. “Do it. You want to always be able to look back and say, ‘I had no regrets while I was here,’ but obviously make good decisions.”

When he’s not reporting, shooting photos, or attending classes, he enjoys spending time with friends. Some of his best memories are late-night runs to Insomnia Cookies on the Oxford Square.

Norwood, one of four children, graduated from South Panola High School, where he played football and soccer while participating in organizations and honor societies.

“Following graduation, I plan to either attend law school or pursue a career as a professional journalist,” he said. “I have a few job offers, but it’s a matter of figuring out the best decision to make for myself right now.”

His advice to students: “Do something (you’re) happy doing in college, in terms of a major. Regardless of how difficult the course load is … if you have a dream job, pursue it. Nothing is going to come easy, but the payoff will be greater in the end.

“I would also tell younger students to make the most of their time in undergrad. I understand that we are all here to get a degree, but these are supposed to be some of the best years of your life. Don’t take it for granted.”

Jena Stallings contributed to this story.

First generation DeSoto campus grad will join advertising firm after graduation

Posted on: April 28th, 2022 by ldrucker
The graphic features a graduation cap and a picture of Benjamin Wilson, an IMC student, who will be the first in his family to graduate from college.

When Benjamin Wilson, 24, graduated with a degree in integrated marketing communications (IMC) from the University of Mississippi DeSoto campus in Southaven, he became the first person in his family to earn a college degree.

The Pontotoc native who lives in Southaven with his wife is just one of the school’s 2022 graduates who shared his Journey to Commencement.

“I am the first person in my family to ever go to college,” he said. “People did not expect me to go to college and definitely did not expect me to be successful.”

Wilson said he took a year off after graduating high school to work and save money for college. He earned an associate’s degree from Itawamba Community College, then skipped another year of school to get married, work, and save more money before returning to earn his bachelor’s degree.

“When coming to Ole Miss, I was undecided in my major,” he said. “I was interested in business and marketing. I had never heard of IMC until my advisor at Ole Miss told me about it. I instantly knew it was the major for me. It opens up career opportunities in business, marketing, communications and more.”

Benjamin Wilson While much of Wilson’s time in college happened virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, he has served as a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. He has also earned a spot on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll each semester.

Wilson said his favorite class has been IMC 205: Writing for Integrated Marketing Communication, taught by his favorite instructor, Patricia Overstreet-Miller.

“It was one of the first IMC classes I took,” he said, “and it assured me I was in the right major,” he said.

Wilson said his biggest personal and educational challenge during college was prioritizing.

“I have worked full time all throughout my college career,” he said. “Juggling my job, school, and being a husband has been very challenging. I have had to sacrifice some of my social life and ‘fun time’ in order to prioritize schoolwork. While it is not fun at the moment, I know it will all be worth it when I graduate in May.”

Wilson will work as a junior SEO specialist at Neon Canvas – an advertising firm in Memphis.

“I did a summer internship with the company last summer, and they offered me a full-time position after my internship,” he said.

Overstreet-Miller, an instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications, said Wilson is a born leader, who is talented, hard-working and committed.

“Like others among the regional students, he balances personal responsibilities and a full-time job with a heavy class load,” she said. “From the beginning, I’ve seen both talent and character in Ben. He will make us all proud.”

Wilson’s advice: “I think the number one piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to put yourself out there – even if you are more reserved or introverted,” he said. “College is a difficult task, and it is really hard to go at it alone. I would encourage everyone to surround themselves with a good support system – family, friends, and especially other students in your major and classes.”

This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.

How to use social media to leverage your brand and organization

Posted on: April 12th, 2022 by ldrucker

A panel of industry experts discussed the role of social media and big data analytics during the inaugural IMC Connect! event Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Britt, a professor at the University of Alabama, and featured:

Social media icons

Social media icons

Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer at Carnival Cruise Line

Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing & Communication at FedEx Services

Amy Rosenberg, Digital Media Director at KQ Communications

Dr. Ike Brunner, Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media

The panelists shared that social media can help solidify a brand and tell a brand’s story. Everyone can see when a brand/company fails on social media. However, social media can also be used to better internal communications.

As a career professional, always ask what can be done to shift, pivot, and change to get clients to reach their goals before the end of a social media campaign. The need to conduct research on the front end about who you are talking to and see how data can tell their stories is also crucial. An organization’s tone and voice on social media also needs to remain genuine on every platform.

The panel on social media and big data analytics was just one part of the inaugural IMC Connect! Other panels included topics such as crisis communication, social justice, and advertising/building a brand.

By Jordyn Rodriguez and Margaret Savoie.

Follow @umjourimc on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Keep Calm and Sail On: How industry experts are tackling crisis communications

Posted on: April 11th, 2022 by ldrucker

A panel of industry experts discussed the four phases of crisis communication during the inaugural IMC Connect! event Friday, April 1 at The Inn at Ole Miss.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Timothy Coombs, a professor in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, and featured:

  • Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer at Carnival Cruise Line
  • Renee Malone, President and Founding Partner at KQ Communications
  • Reade Tidwell, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Chick-fil-A
  • Steve Holmes, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at The Home Depot
  • Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing and Communication at FedEx Service

Dr. Coombs said the four phases include stealing thunder, empathy, accountability, and moral outrage. He described “stealing thunder” as creating a loss.

A panel discusses crisis communication at IMC Connect!

A panel discusses crisis communication at IMC Connect!

Empathy occurs when stakeholders are a priority, not just psychological support, but also addressing physical safety. Accountability does not mean you are responsible for what happened, but you are responsible for what happens to solve the problem. And moral outrage occurs when people perceive injustice and see it happen to other people.

Panelists explained that a crisis is a long term issue that you will manage over a period of time. The organization principles should guide your decision-making, and it is essential to make consistent decisions throughout, as well as build trust within your organization to be successful, or you will be slow and miss the boat.

Some of the key takeaways from the panel included the importance of:

  1.  Timeliness – Fast and good beats slow and perfect every time.
  2.  There should be an alignment with the executive team over guiding principles.
  3.  Prepare for the different categories of crises. However, empathy and sympathy are always first.
  4.  Make an effective response that will help the organization in a crisis.
  5.  The goal is to avoid crisis, present calmness, and don’t give an indication that there is a crisis.
  6.  Everyday is a dress rehearsal for crisis.
  7.  It is not always about you; it’s about the company, the people you are protecting, and the associates.
  8.  A company crisis is not about what you say; it’s about what you do. Don’t let your customer service fall apart.
  9.  Actions speak louder than words. There should be a multi-discipline approach to all actions.
  10. Learn from the best practices across the spectrum and not just in your industry.
  11. Read other companies’ crises, and see how they are handling the situation, and think about how you would handle the crisis.
  12. You can’t ignore the internal side of crisis communication.
  13. In a crisis, clarity is absolutely crucial.

The panel on crisis communication was just one part of the inaugural IMC Connect! Other panels included topics such as social justice, social media, and advertising/building a brand.

By Jordyn Rodriguez and Margaret Savoie.

Follow @umjourimc on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Communicators listen and learn from industry experts at IMC Connect!

Posted on: April 7th, 2022 by ldrucker

Students get advice from professionals and researchers during inaugural conference

Several industry leaders and academic researchers networked with University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff and sparked conversation on a number of topics at IMC Connect! 2022, an inaugural conference hosted by the School of Journalism and New Media

Organized by students in an event-planning course in the integrated marketing communications master’s program, the March 31-April 1 conference included workshops designed to improve the school’s IMC curriculum, sessions for attendees to network with invited professionals and discussion panels with representatives from leading household brands.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

IMC Connect! panelists take the stage inside Farley Hall.

“This is a great networking event for students interested in IMC,” said Abigail Nichols, second-year graduate student and event planner of IMC Connect! 2022. “It is always nice to hear from leaders about topics related to IMC and collaborate with my classmates to host this event.”

Discussion topics included social media and data analytics, crisis communication, the role of advocacy and social justice in public relations and brand strategies.

The purpose of this experience was to, not only provide a space for members of the Ole Miss community to network with IMC practitioners, but also to offer attendees insight on topics of student interest, said Dr. Amanda Bradshaw, co-chair of IMC Connect! and an assistant professor of IMC.

“The event sought to bridge the disconnect between research and practice, and we had some of the foremost academic researchers in the world on campus,” Bradshaw said.

To read the full story written by Michael Taplin, click the link.

IMC Connect! panelists discuss building your brand, developing strategic messages that resonate

Posted on: April 1st, 2022 by ldrucker

Companies consistently work to build their brands and create messaging that resonates with audiences. One of Friday’s IMC Connect! panels discussed the leading trends in advertising and brand building.

Dr. Debbie Treise, a leading researcher from the University of Florida, provided a 10-minute topical discussion and background regarding her expertise on advertising to start the panel. She used examples from pop culture with references to “Squid Game,” “In the Heights” and more to illustrate her points.

Dr. Treise then served as the moderator for the remainder of the panel. The esteemed panelists with practical industry experience included Reade Tidwell, of Chick-Fil-A; Steve Holmes, of The Home Depot; Chris Chiames, of Carnival Cruise Line; and Jenny Robertson, of FedEx.

One of the main takeaways from the panel was to actively engage and know your customers. It is important to stay true to your customer and your brand. Platforms are used to survey consumers and keep eyes on trends in each company. Each brand is different and requires a different playbook. What works for one company will not work the same for the next. Examples from each represented company were given to reiterate this main point.

An additional lesson learned was the importance of taking a step back and seeing the full picture of a company’s brand. Understanding your brand and its strategy is essential to successful advertising. The idea of a brand has changed to include the reputation of the company, so celebrity and influencer endorsements are risky. Many companies choose to not use them to avoid the risks that may arise.

It was also reiterated that consistency is vital when building a brand. Information must be presented in a quick and lasting manner so it sticks in the mind of the average consumer in this generation.

IMC Connect! experts share top 10 career advice lessons for IMC students

Posted on: April 1st, 2022 by ldrucker

The University of Mississippi Public Relations Student Society of America, or PRSSA, hosted a Q&A Job Prep Panel: The Connection Between Research and Practice with top experts in the field of marketing and communications on Thursday March 31 in the Overby Center Auditorium.

The panel was moderated by Professor Scott Fiene, an associate professor of integrated marketing communications (IMC), and featured distinguished professionals:

 

Chris Chiames, Chief Communication Officer for Carnival Cruise Line

Dr. Timothy Coombs, a Professor at Texas A&M University

Steve Holmes, VP of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at The Home Depot

Renee Malone, President and Founding Partner at KQ Communications

Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing & Communication at FedEx Services

Amy Rosenberg, Digital Media Director at KQ Communications

Dr. Rebecca Britt, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama

Reade Tidwell, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Chick-fil-A

Dr. Candice Edrington, Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina

 

IMC Connect! speakers share career advice in the Overby Auditorium inside Farley Hall

IMC Connect! speakers share career advice in the Overby Auditorium inside Farley Hall

The invited speakers came together in this informal conversational panel to share their words of wisdom and best career advice with interested students. The top 10 career advice lessons shared by these experts in the field include:

 

  1. Be curious and spend time learning about the industry you are interested in. – Dr. Timothy Coombs
  2. Know that you are worthy and can achieve pretty much anything you can do. – Renee Malone
  3. Don’t sell yourself short. – Steve Holmes
  4. Be on time, work hard and don’t be a jerk. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities. – Reade Tidwell
  5. Speak up. Don’t be afraid to be in the game. – Jenny Robertson
  6. Don’t always seek the easiest path. – Chris Chiames
  7. Don’t define success as those around you. The less you compare yourself to others, you can reflect on your success. – Dr. Rebecca Britt
  8. Create a culture where you care about the people you work for and who you work with. – Renee Malone
  9. Learn how to be solution-oriented and a trouble-shooter. – Amy Rosenberg
  10. Don’t live to work, work to live. – Jenny Robertson

 

IMC 580 students Jaclyn Mansour, Nicole Wishard, Haughton Mann, and Margaret Savoie helping check in students before the panel began.

IMC 580 students Jaclyn Mansour, Nicole Wishard, Haughton Mann, and Margaret Savoie helping check in students before the panel began.

 

The PRSSA panel was the first of many events for IMC Connect! Students and guests will continue this fun-filled roundtable experience all day Friday April 1 with panels focused on crisis communication, social justice, social media, building your brand and more.

Journalism is a family legacy for University of Mississippi grad, now New Orleans reporter and anchor

Posted on: March 17th, 2022 by ldrucker

There is no such thing as a typical day for Peyton LoCicero Trist, breaking news reporter and fill-in anchor at WGNO, an ABC affiliate in New Orleans. When her alarm goes off at 2:30 a.m. each morning, she never knows where the day is headed.

“I can be out talking about the Mardi Gras horses up for adoption and then have to run over and talk about a murder case that could be a possible serial killer,” said LoCicero Trist. Each day can require five to 10 live shots.

LoCicero Trist developed a love for journalism at an early age. Her mother worked as an anchor in Baton Rouge, her hometown, and some of her favorite childhood memories began with her mother waking her up in the early hours of the morning and taking her to the studio, where she saw the ins and outs of newsmaking.

Peyton LoCicero Trist on the set of WGNO. Submitted photo.

Peyton LoCicero Trist on the set of WGNO. Submitted photo.

Her days with her mother at the studio ended when her parents moved and started a business in Destin, Florida, right before she began middle school. While Hurricane Katrina made 2005 a bad year for most Louisianans and Southerners, it was a good year for LoCicero Trist.

“For me, it was such a blessing because I was struggling to make friends in Destin,” she said, “and all of the sudden, all these refugees came to my school, and they were feeling just as displaced as me.”

Carley Keyes, one of LoCicero Trist’s sorority sisters and friends, met her in college.

“She was so personal and bubbly,” said Keyes. “She always had a smile on her face and always seemed to find the good in everything.”

Today, she is known as “Positive P” by her coworkers. She has learned the hard way that someone within the station has to be willing to rally others. In challenging times, it is important to have a voice of reassurance.

Choosing the University of Mississippi was a no-brainer for LoCicero Trist. She attended Junior Preview Day and fell in love with the campus and Oxford culture. She served as an anchor for NewsWatch, the campus television station, and wrote for HottyToddy.com.

You can read LoCicero Trist’s full story at OxfordStories.net.

To learn more about the School of Journalism and New Media’s journalism and IMC programs, visit our website.

This story was written by Deja Errington for Oxford Stories.

UM grad Maria Martin still winning the game as sports anchor, reporter at 11Alive in Atlanta

Posted on: January 24th, 2022 by ldrucker

Maria Martin, a University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media graduate, has been in the game of sports reporting since graduating in 2014. Her latest win is working at 11Alive, WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

“I am a sports anchor and reporter,” she said. “I have a podcast, a 30-minute sports show every Sunday, and the daily responsibilities and grind of being in a top market.”

A native of the West Palm Beach, Florida area, Martin graduated from UM in 2014, earning a degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in English.

“After I graduated from UM, I moved back home and worked three different jobs trying to break into the sports industry whatever way possible,” she said. “I worked in the University of Miami communications department doing everything from shooting practice video to doing sit-down interviews with players during fall camp.”

Maria Martin

Maria Martin

Martin also worked at “SEC on CBS” as a production assistant, traveling the country with the team and learning from the sideline reporter. At ESPN West Palm on WPTV, she was involved in both radio and television, preparing for an opportunity.

“A coworker of mine at WPTV told me I really needed to go somewhere where I got on-camera opportunities every day,” she said, “so I took the leap and did exactly that. I built my reel up and found my next landing spot to be Montgomery, Alabama with WSFA. This was my first full-time on-air position in the television business, and I was the weekend sports anchor and reporter.”

Martin stayed there for three years.

“It was the best decision I ever made professionally and personally,” she said. “I grew exponentially being on camera consistently every day. I covered three straight national championships, three straight SEC championships, a Final Four, a College World Series, multiple first-round draft picks in the NFL, and even the first overall pick in MLB.”

Martin said it was an incredible ride with a lot of national sports exposure and experience.

“I genuinely believe that having small market experience is crucial for young journalists,” she said.

From there, Martin took the job at 11Alive, WXIA-TV in Atlanta where much is expected daily.

“I am never not busy at work, especially in a sports market like Atlanta,” she said. “I’m always either live on location, turning a feature story, aiming to break sports news, anchoring shows, or working on long-form projects.”

Martin hosts a 30-minute sports show every Sunday called “Sports Extra,” featuring several guests who have in-depth conversations about sports teams in the market.

“Traditionally, it has been radio personalities, former athletes and beat writers in the market,” she said. “This year, I’ve started to push the show a step further and get coaches, current athletes and general managers on to keep the rotation of guests exciting.”

She also created her own podcast called “Married to the Game,” for which she “interviews coaches’ and athletes’ wives to show the side of sports the average fan never gets to hear from.”

“I am a football coach’s wife,” she said, “so it is easy for me to be empathetic towards the difficult, but an incredible lifestyle that comes with that.”

Martin said challenges in her industry include traveling a lot for work, and many companies don’t pay beginning journalists well compared to the long hours they put in. She often works until midnight or later and on holidays. Free weekends are rare in sports, she said.

Her advice to other industry professionals: Find what makes you unique and use that to your advantage.

“Find your own voice,” she said. “Oftentimes, when you’re just getting started as a journalist, you try to replicate what someone else is doing or has done. The moment you find your own voice is when you can start honing in on your craft and pushing yourself to new heights professionally.”

Tip #2: Jump out of your comfort zone often.

“It only helps you become more well-rounded as a journalist,” she said. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. I am as passionate as they come when it comes to sports journalism, and I truly hope that’s evident by you watching even two minutes of my work, but I am incredibly blessed to do this every day.

“It’s a lot of work. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where I am and where I know I’m going. But I’m talking about sports and meeting incredible people every day. This job is rewarding and fun, and I hope you remember that, especially when it gets hard.”

Her advice to students: Throw yourself at every opportunity that arises in college.

“That also means not putting yourself in one box when it comes to journalism,” she said. “Bosses want to know you can do it all these days. The more people you can connect with and show that you’re driven and eager to learn, the better off you are when it comes to getting a job.”

Another tip for students is: Always be willing to take criticism.

“It’s how you will grow,” she said. “Understand that this job takes tremendous sacrifice. I graduated in 2014, and after this football season will be the first time in my entire career I will have Friday and Saturday off. Sports are on the weekends. Sports happen on holidays. It’s incredibly rewarding, but just make sure you’re passionate about it.”

Her last tip: Be kind.

“Above all else, kindness wins in this industry,” she said. “It helps you break stories, build relationships, and climb the ladder in this wild business. I love talking to young, aspiring journalists, so please reach out to me.”

You can find Martin on LinkedIn.