Digital journalist Aaron Ladd spoke to FMU mass communication students 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 29. in the Thomas C. Stanton Academic Computer Center.
David Baxley, assistant professor of mass communications, said he invited Ladd to come talk to students about the different jobs available in mass communication.
“He is very versatile,” Baxley said. “He does many different things and goes wherever he is needed.”
Ladd told students how he originally set out to work in print journalism, but ended up landing a job in the broadcast field.
“I knew I wanted to do journalism,” Ladd said. “But I never, never, never saw myself being in front of the camera.”
Ladd said he saw himself as more of a behind-the -scenes beat writer.
Baxley told Ladd he had been lecturing the students on the importance of finding story ideas and how to find them.
“It is a big part of what we do day-to-day,” Ladd said. “Whenever I come in for the day it’s our responsibility to come in with three fleshed out story ideas.”
Ladd shared with students that as a communication major watching the news is very important.
“If this is something that you want to be doing, then the best way to do it is to watch it and learn,” Ladd said.
Ladd showed students the story he covered for Coastal Carolina University’s media day.
After the video, students had a lot of questions on how he shot videos and put them together.
Students learned that being multi-skilled in the broadcast industry is very important to one’s growth as a journalist.
“There are a lot of benefits to having octopus tentacles,” Ladd said. “Being able to do different things and do them well.”
Ladd told students about the other jobs in the newsroom that are important.
“It takes a true team effort to do the newscast,” Ladd said. “So, if you aren’t sure whether you want to be in front of the camera, news stations are always looking for photographers, producers and news directors.”
Ladd also conveyed to students how he began his journey to becoming a journalist.
“He wasn’t an A-plus student,” Baxley said. “And I think that is important for people to know. He had to make some changes and figure out what he wanted to do.”
Ladd told students he didn’t know what he wanted to do at first and when he decided on journalism, he had to find a good journalism program that would accept him despite the fact that he had a 2.5 GPA from high school.
“I decided on the University of Missouri,” Ladd said. “And I just went from there.”
Baxley said he didn’t want the students to limit themselves to certain opportunities.
“There are so many things you can do,” Baxley said. “So, I just don’t want you to be so limiting. Do it all. Do everything and be like Aaron.”