Facebook. Twitter. A profusion of online media sources. All drastically have changed how the news is delivered. As this year's Hardman Journalist-in-Residence, television news anchor Lydia Kulbida brought her considerable experience with a rapidly changing market to the next generation of news reporters.
Approximately 100 broadcast and print journalism students had the opportunity to work with Kulbida, a broadcast journalist with WTEN in Albany, N.Y.
"Having someone from the journalism field visit the school is a wonderful experience," said John Durkan '11. "She re-enforced the idea that anyone in the journalism field - whether it's print or broadcast - needs familiarity with writing, audio, photos and video to survive in a market that's only becoming tougher."
Each spring, a journalist visits the English/Communications Department at MCLA to participate in classes and workshops with students. In this position, the visiting journalist facilitates students in their storytelling practices for print, online and broadcast aspects of journalism.
According to Natasha Robinson '11, "Ms. Kulbida was incredibly helpful, especially since she had a lot of good insight to share with us that complimented what we are doing in class right now."
Kulbida explained to students how people are seeking to have their voices heard in an increasingly complicated public domain, where electronic media like Twitter and Facebook conflict with the interests of dominant media news networks.
According to Jenifer Augur, assistant professor of English/communications and an advisor to MCLA's student-run newspaper, the Beacon, Kulbida offered a very important experience to the journalism students.
"Her highly-charged personal energy showed students just how confident and poised they need to be in order to talk to people as professionals," Augur said. "At the Beacon newsroom, Lydia talked with writers and editors for over an hour. She reviewed and critiqued our Web site, paying special attention to our video and Facebook/Twitter links.
"The kids loved having her in the newsroom and requested that she come back," Augur continued. "So, she returned the following day to observe them in action as they rushed to deadline with an extended 'April Fools' Day' issue."
Among the classrooms Kulbida visited were Augur's "Writing and Reporting the News" and Dr. Joseph Ebiware's "Basic Television,"where she helped students with basic control room protocols and commands.
"In the broadcast delivery class, she was able to help the students adlib to the camera," explained Dr. Michael Birch, communications professor. "Often there are moments when scripts cannot prepare you for emergencies and you just have to talk. She was able to offer direct help to students in this upper-level course. Certainly across these courses, student learning/education was directly enhanced."
Michelle Webb '11 said, "Having Ms. Kulbida come and speak to my class was an amazing opportunity for me to glimpse into the future and see where I want to be. As a college senior, I have a lot of nerves about graduating and a lot of uncertainties. Having her speak to my class, however, has soothed the anxieties that I have and has shown me that though life is hard, if I have passion, a good attitude, and know what I want, I will be able to succeeded and achieve my dreams. Through her stories of her experience with her field, I was able to get a great perspective of what I need to do to be successful."
In addition to the Hardman Journalist in Residence program, MCLA presents a Hardman Lecture each fall. Both programs are made possible through the generosity of the Hardman Family Endowment.
For more information, go to www.mcla.edu/About_MCLA/notablespeakers/hardmanlectureseries .