It all began with a robot. Aiesha Little’s high school did not have a newspaper or a yearbook, so she tried math- and science-related extracurricular activities. But after a particularly memorable experience at a tech camp she attended outside school, she left the event knowing math and science were not for her.
When Jessica Durkin was laid off from The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa., she did anything but mope. The day the paper cut staff in March 2009 was the beginning of Durkin’s post-reporting career, a career that has led in new directions.
“I needed a job where I didn’t have to recreate myself, so I got back into journalism.” Dan Kubiske’s voice flowed seamlessly through a small laptop. It sounded like he was calling from a house down the street from SPJ Headquarters.
Joe Skeel is a self-described sports junkie. Outgoing and quick to laugh and create laughter, the high school “jock” followed his love for sports into a newsroom as a young reporter. Among the deadlines, editors and job responsibilities, Skeel discovered his undeniable ability to lead.
The SPJ president-elect spends one year waiting for the night he or she receives the gavel and assumes the role to lead the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism association. Kevin Z. Smith, SPJ president for 2009-10, did anything but wait.
The state of the economy is in the spotlight, and the nation’s youth is a group uniquely affected by the cutbacks and rising unemployment rates. Negative effects on the media industry are severely apparent, but to Ohio University’s Taylor Mirfendereski, there is no better time to pursue broadcast journalism.