From Kari Williams: Student newsrooms are a haven for aspiring journalists

Name: Kari Williams

College Publications: The Alestle (Edwardsville, Illinois)

Where I am now:Associate Editor, VFW magazine

I started working for the Alestle, SIUE’s student-run newspaper, my first semester on campus. Without that, I guarantee I would not be where I’m at. I learned how to build rapport in a community, work a beat and cover controversial or sensitive topics with grace.

I was fortunate enough to serve as editor in chief my final semester. That opportunity gave me a world of knowledge about writing, editing, managing a diverse staff and working with reporters who need a little more guidance — all things that have transferred over to my professional career.

Our adviser, Tammy Merrett, and writer’s coach, Jill Cook, are people I still turn to when I need advise or guidance. Had I only taken journalism classes at SIUE, I would not have had the real-world experience that I truly needed to move into my first job after college.

In general, student newsrooms are a haven for aspiring journalists. They allow us to learn and make mistakes on a smaller scale so that we’re as prepared as possible to enter the “real world” after college. They are vital to the journalism industry.