Journalism/PR Students and Professor Attend WSJ Digital Student Summit

Posted on 4/27/2020 3:11:11 PM
WSJ Summit Zoom

Reporters at the Wall Street Journal's new digital magazine, Noted, discuss their work during the digital Student Summit, April 24, 2020.

Three IUP Journalism and Public Relations students and a faculty member attended the Wall Street Journal’s Digital Student Summit April 24 and participated in a question-and-answer chat session with students from across the United States.

Anna Mechling, Connie Diven, and Marian “Marty” Weaver attended the online conference along with Laurie Miller, associate professor, Journalism and Public Relations.

The conference panel included the team of reporters producing WSJ’s new digital magazine, Noted, a publication telling multimedia stories aimed at attracting an audience between the ages of 18 and 34. The summit was sponsored as part of WSJ’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of editors and journalists.

“I thought it was really insightful,” Weaver said. “I always saw the Wall Street Journal as a stuffy publication that thinks my generations’ not buying diamonds is what’s wrong with the world, so it was cool to see a group of diverse young people trying to change that. It was also refreshing to hear journalists discuss their tendency to focus on certain types of stories and perspectives.”

Mechling agreed. “Overall, this WSJ webinar was a great experience. I heard journalists’ first-hand experiences and advice on how they go about their profession with things like avoiding biases, but acknowledging they do exist; diversity, barriers and challenges, and navigating through their organization individually and together.”

Mechling cited information provided by WSJ reporter Deborah Acosta, who discussed the coronavirus pandemic and stories that depicted younger generations partying and ignoring health guidelines. Acosta explained the articles were misleading because they failed to include older generations who were gathering, too. She stressed the importance of incorporating multi-faceted, diverse voices in news articles.

Divins also expressed enthusiasm for the conference. “All of these young reporters gave great tips to journalism students—making them aware that they may not get a job in journalism right out of school, but to take what they can to make a living and never lose sight of their dream of working in journalism. One tip that stood out was to make sure to build a good skill set to become marketable.”

Miller was impressed with WSJ’s efforts to attract younger audiences and the team of reporters recruited to staff the digital magazine. “It’s heartening to see traditional news organizations finding new ways to adapt, inform readers and keep the essence of journalism alive.”