Nina Easton visits Elon University and gives insight into the current journalism industry

By Stuart Jones

“My passion showed through my piece and that’s what got me noticed and got me a job at The LA Times,” says Nina Easton, the Washington, D.C. editor of Fortune Magazine and a Fox News contributor, on Friday.

Easton visited Elon University Friday as a part of the school of communications advisory board. She and other members of the board took time to visit different classes throughout the day to lend some advice and information about the current nature of the communications world.

“How do you do an in-depth story when the attention span of your audience is so short?” asked Easton when considering the habits the public has been forming with ease of access to information. People are constantly looking for newer news, so how do you keep their attention for a more serious and in-depth topic, Easton wonders.

As an editor of Fortune Magazine and author of multiple books, Easton reassures undergraduate students that things are not as grim as when she graduated. “It was 11 percent unemployment when I graduated and I wanted to work in Washington, D.C. with Nader,” says Easton with emphasis to encourage seniors that they will be able to find a job.

Realizing that her passion was in the journalism side of politics, Easton set her eyes on The LA Times. She worked through several different jobs before getting to The LA Times, but kept her goal the same.

“Find where you want to go and freelance your work so they can see you,” says Easton about finding your way to your dream job. Easton proceeded to give more advice on how to be successful in the journalism world:

  1. Read books. Read history books of the time that you are interested in. Find a single good author of the time and follow their works. It helps your writing and generates a new perspective to write from.
  2. Practice strong interpersonal skills. Employers notice when you can speak well. They value when you speak to them face to face. Don’t underestimate the ability of being able to look someone in the eye when you are talking with them. Start and end with a strong handshake.
  3. Tell your employer why you’re good for them. Research the company you are interviewing for and tell them what interests you about their company. Research the individual who is interviewing you and relate to them about their accomplishments. Do the same for sources and be personable with them.
  4. Always try and freelance yourself towards your desired employer. Put your stories out there that you are passionate about and work for anyone you can until you reach your desired place of employment.
  5. Do what you want to do and love what you do. Have the confidence that you are capable of succeeding in that company. Always strive for excellence.
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