Students came out to the campus of Belmont University to get industry advice from local media professionals.

By Jer’Mykeal McCoy

Phresh & Professional

Members of the Nashville chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists’ hosted panel discussions for college and high school students at the 2013 Student Media Conference at the campus of Belmont University Saturday in Nashville.

The conference included several panel discussions comprised of NABJ members about the realities of professional journalism, reporting, public relations, and online branding. Giving tips to students who are considering building careers in the media industry and teaching them the essentials in developing a professional online presence.

According NABJ website, the organization is comprised of journalists, students, and media-related professionals who provide quality programs and services on behalf of black journalists worldwide.

Some of panelists included: Dr. Sybil Bennett (Belmont University), Kia Jarmon (The MEPR Agency), Vicky Yates (NewsChannel5), Jason Kyle Luntz (Tennessee Tribune), Aundrea Cline-Thomas (NewsChannel5), K. Dawn Rutledge (Tennessee State University), and many others.

NABJ Flyer

The following are 10 pieces of advice to students from the panel discussions:

  1. Be prepared to MAKE the time commitment in the industry.
  2. Journalism is MORE than just anchoring, reporters must develop stories.
  3. Must have a THICK skin in the media industry…pretty much in any other industry as well.
  4. Must have “Honesty and Integrity”
  5. Be confident in the skin you are in (man, woman, Black, Hispanic, etc…)
  6. “Its about the viewer, its not about me.” and “Ask for HELP, and be willing to take it.” – Aundrea Cline-Thomas
  7. Have some vision about what you want to do in the media industry.
  8. Don’t be afraid to create your OWN opportunities!
  9. Learn about the people you want to be, then FOLLOW them!
  10. Last but not least… “You DON’T want to just be in this business, you want to LAST!”

Contact Jer’Mykeal McCoy at or leave a comment below. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @truerealmccoy. 


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