Guest speaker: BJ Koubaroulis

31 03 2011

BJ Koubaroulis, George Mason University graduate in ’04, began writing high school level sports, getting the most access and “real people” who enjoy doing what they’re doing.

He had an early recommendation for us young journalism students:

Work at a small place early to get learning experience and make mistakes.

By doing so, you’ll gain experience and be able to get published without having extreme pressure and demand of needing to be perfect.

He eventually focused his energy into adding another element into his repertoire in order to be able to compete better. He added a video element to his game which helped him stand out amongst his other journalists at the Washington Post. It gave him more power as a writer having another aspect to add to it.

As important as it is to have unique abilities in one particular area, BJ made an important point to talk about the necessity of being able to do everything — writing, radio, television, video, internet.

By being able to do everything, you’ll be able to do your one “specialty’ even better than you thought. If you’re unwilling to change, you will get left behind.

He showed us a virtual tour that he created about Mason’s campus. It was incredibly cool to see.

The four necessities to become a real backpack journalist:

  • Camera
  • Computer
  • Microphone
  • Work hard

The major takeaways from BJ’s speech:

  • Do as much as you can
  • Don’t be satisfied with the ability to do one thing
  • You need to be able to do everything

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