An Evening with Calkins Media: A Temple University Round Table Discussion

Discussion panel at Calkins Media round table.

Discussion panel at Calkins Media round table.

At 5:30 p.m. Monday evening, on September 14, students of the School of Communications gathered at Temple University’s Annenberg Hall to have a round table discussion with three Calkins Media executives about the future of journalism, as well as internships and job opportunities available with Calkins Media.

Calkins Media Incorporated is headquartered in Bucks County, Pa and has media, TV news studios, and shares news through digital and mobile devices. Calkins Media has audiences totaling over 3 million in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Alabama, and Florida. It is a family owned and run company that was established in 1937.

During the round table discussion, students were very quiet as executives introduced themselves and shared their career history, current job title with Calkins media, and what kind of employees their company looked for.

Stanley Ellis, who sits on the board of directors, explained that since the company was founded in the late 1930s, it was very important to keep up with the latest technology and social media platforms. He mentioned that young people were needed and that he was excited about the current generation about to graduate from Temple University.

“We need new thinking and new ideas if we are going to be successful,” said Ellis.

Shane Fitzgerald, an executive editor passionately discussed all of the different positions and locations available for Temple Students as interns, as well as college graduates.

“There’s a lot of room for growth,” said Fitzgerald.

He encouraged students to think of jobs outside of their immediate area and to consider moving to another state to work, which will allow them to learn and grow so they can have a better future for their careers.

Both Fitzgerald and Ellis discussed what it was like to report on news stories such as the Columbine massacre and the time former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney accidently shot a man while hunting. They both felt dealing with people in the community during breaking stories brought out a lot of compassion in the journalists and it was something to be very proud to be a part of.

“It’s the sense of community that keeps journalism going,” added Dr. Carolyn Kitch, who is the chair of the journalism department at Temple.

I questioned the panel about making the transition from working as a magazine editor, to hopefully working as a broadcast journalist with a TV show about food someday.

“Find what you are passionate about and the rest will follow. Don’t worry about the plan,” said Dr.Kitch.

The rest of the panel agreed.

There were many more questions the students asked. The round table discussion ended in about an hour, followed by networking and socializing over pizza.

I asked students what they thought of the discussion.

“Very informative. I liked how they brought in a lot of people to ask them questions,” Alanna Gentle, a journalism student said.

“I thought it was interesting because I never thought much about working in local news,” said Gabby Szcepanek, a media studies and production student.

A lot of students who attended the event, got what they came for.

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