I’m back at it with the second edition of College and Career Diaries. Today’s post will be an interview with someone I admire greatly. Let me introduce you all to Ms. Barmel Lyons.
Barmel is a 21 year old senior at the University of Central Florida. She is studying broadcast journalism in hopes to pursuit a multi-faceted career as a reporter/anchor or wherever that path leads her. At UCF ,she is the President of the National Association of Black Journalist.
As an aspiring journalist myself, Barmel is #Goals. Let me stop babbling so you can see how amazing Barmel is for yourself.
Can you explain to me what journalism is essentially?:
I would say that journalism is the ability to story-tell. The ability to bring something to life. With journalism, you are supposed to get authoritative sources. You’re supposed to get a human element and sort of bring in whole a message together in which you’re being objective and you’re becoming the vessel to deliver that message.
What aspect of journalism do you want to pursue and why?:
Well currently, I attend the University of Central Florida and I’m a broadcast journalism major under the Radio/Television track. I’m trying to become a reporter/anchor. Sort of like a mogul in a sense. Reporter/Anchor, host, all of that. I want to be able to be immersed within it. I want to be able to really get a hand on each diverse one. Which is essentially why I really like the Nicholson School of Communication program, because it really gives you a good foundation in order for you to build, have experience, and grow.
Have you had any internships? Where? And how did you go about getting them?:
Well, Intern Pursuit is a very valuable asset to have, which is coming up. I was able to get my first internship with WESH 2, which is a great news network here in Orlando. It’s crazy because when I was telling other people that when I first got that internship, I was in Professor Bagley’s class and I didn’t really have as much stuff as I wanted. But I knew exactly where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. So with that in mind, I said I’m going to put my best foot forward. I’m going to make these people remember me. Through doing that, I was able to get an interview with WESH 2 and now I’m currently interning with Fox 35 as well as CBS radio with 105.1 Mix. It’s a great experience. Internships are very valuable because they help you…you’re not going to learn anything unless you go out there and get experience and really be hands on with your craft.
Is graduate school necessary?:
It depends. It depends on where you see yourself and what you want. A lot of people go to graduate school, just to have that degree. It’s valuable within education, so if you want to become a professor, you can always do that. Personally, you don’t necessarily need to go. If you would like to make more money or if you just want more experience or like to be able to give more within education, then its a good route to take. But, it’s really about being hands on and getting in there and getting your stripes in the career field.
What has been your most challenging class so far?:
Personally, I feel like they all have their ups and downs. I wouldn’t say that there is one that has been overwhelmingly the most challenging. I mean, you’ll hear that from different people. I personally put my all in each class. I enjoy it. I’m really passionate about this. So I don’t find them necessarily too difficult. I feel like it’s always going to be difficult just for the fact that you’re the person that is having to go out and reach these people that sometimes don’t even want to talk to you. Having to think of these story ideas, editing…So it’s very tedious. But if you’re willing to put in the work then its ok.
What are some study tips or tips in general to be a better journalist?:
I would say, don’t only have a story idea, but have a story pitch. That is essentially, so important, because you need to have the “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “Why”?..Who are we speaking to? What is their message? The news peg. The human interest. You have to have a good foundation, so that when you do create your story, it will appeal to masses. You have to really figure out who your audience that you’re targeting is and really establish and bring that out.
Who are some of your favorite journalists or those who inspire you?:
I’m inspired by so many people. I really like the Today’s Show, Al Roker, even though he’s weather and not necessarily what I want to do…He’s awesome. I just love seeing black, beautiful people within my major…just seeing them as a voice for our people by being there. It’s very underrepresented for blackfemales, or black males being there. So seeing them on TV is a great experience.
How can you stand out as a journalist?:
I would say the way you standout as a journalist is just by putting your all into everything. Making sure you really are listening within your classes. It’s really important that if you have information that you’re receiving from your teachers it’s not just for fun. They’re giving it to you for a reason. So you have to make sure that you take notes. Apply those things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make mistakes, but try to correct those mistakes as soon as possible.
How does journalism impact society?:
Journalism is basically the voice for the community. Journalism was based on making sure that the government wasn’t corrupt and that each side whether it was community or government was being spoken for in a manner that is very objective. I feel that we are a vessels for that message. With the crazy events that happen, for instance the Pulse event or New York recently, how is that information going to be spread or how will we handle those situations if the word isn’t being spread or distributed properly? That’s what we as media people are vessels for. I feel like it’s very important to make sure you take heed of that message and you try to be as accurate as possible in your delivery. That’s what I feel like Nicholson School of Communication, Broadcast Journalism tries to instill in you those journalism ethics. Making sure that information is correct, and citing your sources.
If you couldn’t be a journalist, what would you be?:
It would always be in the realm of that. So reporter/anchor, if I couldn’t be those two then…Right now, the type of person that I am, I don’t like to be stuck to one category. I mean those are things that I would like to do, but I would like to host. I’d love to do all of that stuff so I don’t necessarily see myself in a box. I see myself growing in every aspect, not only in journalism but in media in general. I feel like my growth in that field would be very diverse. I feel like one thing that is wrong with people now adays is that they lower the bar or subject themselves to one goal. You can have multiple goals and achieve them all.
There you have it. If you have any additional questions for Barmel let me know in the comments below.