Broadcast journalism professional discusses the emergence of multimedia journalism

On the third day of Comm. Week, Cal State Fullerton welcomed Bill Thomas, a television/radio broadcaster and pilot for the KABC. In a workshop entitled, “Skills you need to find and keep a job and excel in the communications industry,” Thomas, who has been on the air for 27 years, spoke about the important aspects of the communication field.

The event, hosted by professor Evans, lecturer of communications, was filled with students waiting to hear Thomas speak about his experience in the broadcast industry. Recalling an incident from his undergraduate studies, he directed the workshop towards students so that attendees would remain interested in the subject.

“I told myself that if I ever came back to speak, I will never talk about myself,” Thomas said, before asking students in the room about their career aspirations.

The emergence and importance of multimedia journalism was something Thomas emphasized in his talk and said that people who are able to do a multitude of things are needed in the industry.

“It will really help them (students) in the job market if they know how to do a lot of different things,” said Crystal Wishart, a member of the Comm. Week Task Force and communications major with an emphasis in public relations. “It will make them stand out.”

Thomas explained that it is not only valuable, but critical to know different niches.

“No matter what you do, you should all have a particular niché that you enjoy,” he added.

While nichés are very important, they can not be relied on. He also said journalists not only need to be able to do the job of four to five people and be able to do it well, but that it’s critical to branch out to different skills and interests because you never know when your niché will fade away, Thomas said.

Thomas added that different ways of delivering news content is not the only thing needed in the industry. It all comes down to writing.

“I have always been told that the best defense is being a good writer. No matter if you’re going into radio, or journalism or public relations, you’re going to need to know how to write,” said Wishart.

Andrea Mena, who will intern for KABC in the summer, said she wanted to find out what someone in the field experienced so she could benefit and apply that to her future career.

“The thing that I walked away from these workshops with is to be versatile and make sure that you know how to do more than just one thing in order to be successful in the business, otherwise you probably just won’t last,” said Mena, 22-year-old broadcast major.

“Get in first, leave last, and do more than everybody else,” Thomas advised students.

About Juanita Vasquez