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Recap: Amos Gelb, Director of Washington Media Instiute

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On Tuesday, November 28th we had the pleasure of hearing from Amos Gelb. He is currently the director of Washington Media Institute and former senior producer for CNN's Investigative Reporting Unit. He's taught at George Washington and Georgetown. Gelb has also won many Emmys and other awards.

He asked us: "Where do you think you're going and what do you want to do?" He said that at first we say what we think would be acceptable and there's a sense of guilt when we say what we truly want to do.

According to Gelb, the older generation has messed up the younger generation's mindset because they've instilled a set of values. They're holding onto traditional jobs and not allowing for younger people to venture out into new career paths.

He believes that local news in going to die because a majority of the stories aren't the best that they could be. Also most people these days watch news on their phones and not on TV. He stated that Donald Trump is …

Dateline: DC Event Hosted by The Association for LGBTQ Journalists

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On Tuesday November 16th, GMU SPJ had the pleasure of attending the Dateline: DC event at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams DC Signature Store. It was an amazing event and our members had the chance to network with representatives from NBC Universal, Fox News, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, CBS News and NPR. The event began with a cocktail hour and then we heard from a few speakers. The event was hosted by NPR "1A" host Joshua Johnson and NPR "Weekend Edition" host Scott Simon received the Randy Shilts Award. The special guests at the event represented every major network and a number of national newspapers. Guests were encouraged to become NLGJA members and to continue coming to events!


Holiday Toy Drive Meeting

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On Tuesday November 14th, GMU SPJ met to plan our holiday toy drive and decorate our toy drive boxes. We partnered with The Office Student Media, which our chapter falls under, in order to use recycled newspapers from Fourth Estate to decorate. It was a crafty to way to tie our toy drive into journalism buy using printed stories written by GMU students to decorate the boxes. We added our logo and other fun decorations and set the boxes out around the school. We plan to donate the toys we receive to INOVA Fairfax Children's Hospital to spread holiday cheer! It was a good way for our chapter to bond while also supporting a good cause.






Adam Woodward USA Today Sports Reporter

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On Tuesday October 17th, GMU 2015 graduate, Adam Woodward, came to speak to our SPJ Chapter. He was a communication major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in electronic journalism (which no longer exists). He is currently a sports reporter at USA Today and had interned there during his junior year of college. He interned for 4-5 days a week, unpaid, and also worked some night shifts. One of his best memories at Mason was studying abroad in London at the London School of Economics during a fall semester.

Adam believes that there is multiple ways to tell a story besides just writing an article such as videos and podcasts. He spent a lot of time at sporting events such as Wizards, Nationals, Capitals games during his college years observing how the games work and learning how report on them. While he originally came to DC from Ohio to study politics, he fell in love with sports reporting. He ended with saying he wouldn't have a had a job without having good conne…

Washington Post Field Trip

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On Friday, October 6th, GMU SPJ had the pleasure of touring the Washington Post. When we arrived, we were greeted by Post reporter Maura Judkis. She gave us a tour of the office, including the wall of Pulitzer Prizes. We got there at around 9am so it was fairly quiet because as Maura noted, most employees start coming in at 10am. She then took us to a conference room where she invited 3 other reporters in to share their career stories with us. They were all very different stories of how they ended up at the same place. They mentioned how much the newspaper world has changed over the past few years and how much it will change as we enter the journalism field. We learned about the Washington Post transformation under the current owner, Jeff Bezos. They also told us about the importance of digital and how that has become a major focus for their company. Another thing that we were surprised to hear was about the importance of coding. They said that it's definitely something journalist…

Recap: Brittany Johnson NBC Washington Social Media Producer

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NBC Washington Social Media Producer and On-Air ContributorBrittany Johnson!
For our 9/26 meeting, we had the pleasure of meeting the Social Media Producer/On-Air Contributor from NBC Washington, Brittany Johnson! She started off by giving us background information about her life. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in English. In college she began a blog and had amazing internships all throughout her time at UMD. Every summer she interned for media companies such as E! News in Los Angeles, MTV, TMZ, WKYS and Sirius XM. Once she graduated college, she was ready to find a career and enter the work force!





She stressed the importance of networking. Once she got out of college, she knew she had to "create a job for herself." One day she was at an NBC at charity event and she met someone who she gave her contact information to. Then, 3 months later Ms. Johnson was contacted by NBC and was scheduled for an interview. She was then hired but the job …

Recap: Public Speaking Workshop

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To kick off our first meeting of the semester, post our general interest meeting, GMU SPJ decided to host a public speaking workshop. The goal of this workshop was to give members helpful tips that they could use throughout their courses as well as their career. We created a PowerPoint slide with public speaking tips that was presented by President, Lauryn Cantrell and Vice President, Sydney Cano.

Some of Our Tips Use personal stories and try to be humorous/relatableUse appropriate body languageDO NOT read off slidesIt's okay to be nervous and practice makes perfect!Avoid "likes" and "ums"

The PowerPoint also included an interactive, mock press conference simulation. Some people acted as journalists and others as communication directors. This way students would have the ability to practice asking questions from a journalistic perspective as well as responding from a PR standpoint. Both involve a particular level of public speaking and the purpose of this was comp…

Review of GMU SPJ Summer 2017

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While everyone had a fun and successful summer, we are all glad to be back for the 2017-2018 school year and begin working with our SPJ chapter once again! Let's take a look at what our board members have been up to during the summer months.

To start the summer off, board members who live in and around the D.C. area were able to attend the "Connecting with Faceless Journalists- Tapping the Social Media News Desk" seminar at the Navy Memorial & Heritage Center on Pennsylvania Avenue. The event was hosted by PRSA, Public Relations Society of America, and our board members had the opportunity to hear from the social media teams of NBC4 Washington, PBS News Hour, Washington Post and US News. GMU SPJ gained a lot of useful information and will be able to pass it along to their members throughout the school year!



As individuals, our chapter members accomplished many achievements of their own. Senior Dinanda Pramesti (Social Media and Public Relations Chair) spent her summe…

Newseum Field Trip

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On a rainy Saturday morning, GMU SPJ took a trip to the Newseum thanks to our lovely events chair AJ Blomberg! We arrived just on time at around 10am to begin our tour. We had the opportunity to see pieces of the Berlin Wall, the 9/11 exhibit, journalism history and the chance to practice being a reporter. The day was fun filled with lots of laughs and bonding. We all ate lunch together in the Newseum food court and had enjoyable conversations. Even though it was a rainy day, we still had an amazing time. As the school year comes to end, we will all be headed home for summer but we can't wait to return for more fun in the fall!!  

Member Spotlight: Chateau Mangaroo

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This week's member spotlight is Chateau Mangaroo. Chateau is majoring in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and a double minor in Sport Management and Journalism. She is set to graduate in December 2017.


Q: When did you join SPJ?
A: " I joined Fall 2016."
Q: What do you love the most about SPJ/ being involved in student media?
A: "I love the networking opportunities and meeting everybody. I also like being able to do things outside of campus and being involved in this group and being able to do things as a team. What I like the most is that I get to showcase my writing. I didn't know how to start that before, but SPJ helped me with that."
Q: What other organizations are you a part of?
A: "I am a part of PRSSA and I was just elected to the executive board of the Sports Management Society."
Q: Have you had any internships or any cool opportunities?
A: "I just started an internship with the American Heart Association. I'm hel…

Recap: Michael Schmidt

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On March 21st, SPJ had the honor of hosting New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt. Schmidt has been working with the Washington Bureau of the New York Times for the past five years. He has covered stories from the Pentagon to the FBI to Hillary Clinton’s emails. Schmidt started out as a clerk answering the phone after he graduated from Lafayette College and then eventually was able to start free lance writing for the Times. He started out writing about issues within the sports community concerning issues such as doping scandals, legal issues, and concussions. Eventually Schmidt transferred over to covering the Government and Politics, which is what he is still doing today. Schmidt gave advice to those in attendance and provided some personal stories. He went on to discuss how he wants to be completely neutral and to avoid bias in his reporting. He also advised everyone not to report on something that may be wrong. All in all, SPJ had a wonderful turn out for the meeting.

Recap: Sara Azani & Arash Shirazi

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On March 7th, SPJ had the honor of meeting Sara Azani and Arash Shirazi. Sara is a successful fashion blogger and Arash is the President and CEO of Bullitt Agency.

They came to speak to us about the Importance of Personal Branding and how to increase your social media presence. They taught us the importance of developing your self brand to make yourself more marketable to employers. Something else that we learned was that building relationships with people in whatever industry you are planning on going into is very important while building your brand.
You can follow Sara on Instagram @stylemba. You can also check out Arash's documentary!


Signing off,  GMU SPJ

Member Spotlight: AJ Blomberg

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This week's member spotlight is our Events Coordinator, AJ Blomberg. AJ is a freshman Communication major with a concentration in Journalism from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Q: When did you join SPJ?
A: "I joined the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester."
Q: What do you love the most about SPJ/ being involved in student media?
A: "I love being around other students who share the same interest in journalism and also being able to meet professionals in the field."
Q: What other organizations are you a part of?
A: "Just SPJ."
Q: Have you had any internships or any cool opportunities?
A: "I've been to ABC World News in New York three times. I've also been to WABC New York three times as well. I have gone to Good Morning America and Meet the Press. I have also had the opportunity to interview a senator."
Q: What are some career goals/ aspirations that you have for yourself?
A: "I want to do something in media. I'm not entirely sure yet …

Recap: Kevin McCarthy

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On February 28th, SPJ had the privilege of getting to meet and talk to FOX 5 Entertainment Reporter Kevin McCarthy.

Kevin is an alum from George Mason University. He graduated with a degree in Media Production and Criticism. It was such a cool opportunity to get to talk to Kevin and be able to relate to him as a fellow Mason student. Kevin was able to talk to us about what it is like to be able to interview some of the bigger names in Hollywood such as Black Lively and Ryan Reynolds. He was also able to talk to us about what his daily routine is like as an entertainment reporter. Thank you so much to Kevin for coming in and talking to us.

Signing off, GMU SPJ